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22 Examples of Knowledge

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Knowledge is meaning, information and awareness as it exists in the human mind. This can be contrasted with information and data that exist in non-human form such as documents and systems. The following are illustrative examples of knowledge.


Knowledge that allows an individual to complete a task or activity such as a carpenter who knows how to properly mount a heavy painting on a museum wall.

Tacit Knowledge

Abilities that can only be learned with experience and continual refinement of skills such as how to pilot a large ship through a narrow and congested canal. Tacit knowledge includes any ability that can't be acquired by reading a book.

Experiential Knowledge

Knowledge gained through experience such as a software architect who has discovered that flat data structures are less problematic that complex hierarchical structures.

Lessons Learned

Learning from the lessons of history in order to avoid repeating mistakes. For example, a nation that learns from an environmental disaster such that it institutes regulations and oversight that prevent a similar occurrence.

Innate Knowledge

Knowledge that we are born with such as a small child who is able to use logic without ever being taught a system of logic.

Empirical Knowledge

Knowledge that results from observation such as a scientist who has measured a glacier using the same methods several times a year for a decade who knows approximately how much the ice volume has decreased over this time period.

First Principles

Knowledge can be deduced from first principles that are known or assumed to be valid. For example, an engineer who counters the idea that solar energy could never completely serve a nation's energy needs by calculating the total amount of solar energy that reaches the territory of that nation each year. If the available solar energy is far more than the energy the nation consumes, then by first principles solar energy is not an unrealistic option if details such as energy storage at scale can be worked out.

Known Unknowns

Known unknowns is an identification of what you do not know. This can be important as prevents you from naively believing you fully understand a domain. For example, a snowboarder who ventures off-piste for the first time who is fully aware that they are out of their element such that they can not fully identify risks or methods for staying safe.

Knowledge of Results

Information pertaining to the results of a strategy or effort such as a score on a Spanish test.

Knowledge of Performance

Information that is independent of results such as a Spanish instructor who tells you your listening comprehension is improving due to the time you have spent watching Spanish films.

Domain Knowledge

Knowledge that is specific to a domain such as an industry, profession or topic. For example, risk management concepts in project management may be very different from risk management concepts in other domains such as investment banking.

Situational Knowledge

Knowledge that is specific to a situation, location or instance. For example, a farmer who knows why a particular tractor is always breaking down and how to fix it.

Partial Knowledge

It is very common for knowledge to be incomplete such that it is surrounded in ambiguity and unknowns. For example, an investor who has a firm understanding of a company's earnings and financial position but is unclear about several murky corporate structures the firm has used for project financing.

Dispersed Knowledge

Knowledge that is known but not by a single individual such that many different people hold a piece of the puzzle. For example, an organization that is so complex that no single person completely understands its operational processes.


At the lowest level, perception is a form of knowledge. For example, a child who perceives a parent has burned dinner due to the smell of smoke.

Situational Awareness

Knowledge of fast moving situations such as a driver who is aware of elements such as pedestrians, vehicles, noises, traffic signals and a toddler who has just spilled juice in the back seat.


Intuition is a judgement that originates with the subconscious mind such that the conscious mind is unaware of how it was formed. For example, a sailor who perceives a ship on the horizon as a threat for some reason that they can't explain. It is difficult to differentiate between intuition that is the result of a potentially valid mental process and feelings that may be the result of your motivations and fears.

Social Intelligence

Knowledge of social situations such as being able to see people's motivations, emotions and intent as opposed to taking everything they say literally.

Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence is perception of emotion and knowledge of how to use emotion. For example, an employee who can perceive when their boss is in a good or bad mood and use this information to approach them at an opportune time.


Knowledge of the self. For example, an artist who recognizes the emotional states that produce their greatest work who is able to put themselves in this state of mind before they paint.


Knowledge of a language including elements such as vocabulary, grammar, semantics, phonology and nuance.

Cultural Knowledge

Knowledge extends beyond cold hard facts to elements of culture such as literature, myth, art and music. For example, an individual who knows how to tell a traditional story and understands its purpose and meaning.


The following are common types of knowledge.


Knowledge is information as it is created, understood and communicated by humans.
Overview: Knowledge Examples
Meaning, information and awareness as it exists in the human mind.
Related Concepts


This is the complete list of articles we have written about knowledge.
A Posteriori
A Priori
Artificial Knowledge
Background Knowledge
Body Of Knowledge
Defensive Publication
Dispersed Knowledge
Domain Knowledge
Filter Bubble
Half-life Of Knowledge
Independent Knowledge
Information Asymmetry
Knowledge Capital
Knowledge Economy
Knowledge Gap
Knowledge Loss
Knowledge Management
Knowledge Processes
Knowledge Product
Knowledge Quality
Knowledge Use
Knowledge Velocity
Knowledge Waste
Known Unknowns
Meta Knowledge
Pessimistic Induction
Prior Art
Qualitative Data
Situated Knowledge
Tacit Knowledge
Traditional Knowledge
Types Of Knowledge
Uncertainty Principle
Unknown Unknowns
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A list of things that are knowledge.

Organizational Intelligence

A definition of organizational intelligence with examples.

Direct Experience

A definition of direct experience with examples.

Knowledge Economy

The definition of knowledge economy with examples.

Situated Knowledge

The definition of situated knowledge with examples.

Knowledge Transfer

The common types of knowledge transfer.

Original Research

The definition of original research with examples.


The different between knowledge and wisdom with examples.


The definition of unknowable with examples.

Thought Processes

A list of thinking approaches and types.


An overview of nostalgia with examples.


The definition of intrapersonal with examples.


The definition of introspection with examples.


The definition of paradox with examples.


The definition of skepticism with examples.

Abstract Thinking

The definition of abstract thinking with examples.

Rational Choice Theory

The definition of rational choice theory with examples.

Positive Thinking

The principles of positive thinking.

List Of Emotions

A list of common emotions.
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