A-Z Popular Blog Human Factors Search »
Thinking
 Advertisements
Design Thinking

Cognition

Cognitive Traits

Journals

Real World

7 Examples of Trained Incapacity

 , updated on
Trained incapacity is the idea that certain types of education, training, experience and habit may lead an individual to be unable to think beyond of a set of views and assumptions that they have formed. This has several common variations:

Curse of Knowledge

The curse of knowledge is the theory that people who know a topic best may struggle to explain it to others. For example, an engineer who designed a product who can't explain it in plain language.

Proprietary Knowledge

Individuals who gain proprietary knowledge may have difficulty in relating that back to general principles or common knowledge. For example, a longtime employee of a bank who knows everything about that bank's processes. Such an employee may accidentally assume that terminology used only by their team is well known across their industry.

Overspecialization

Overspecialization is when an individual learns a great deal of highly specific knowledge without understanding the context of that knowledge. For example, an expert in configuring a specific brand of wifi router who doesn't understand basic principles of networking or computing. Such an individual may have trouble adapting to change in their industry.

Authoritarianism

Authoritarianism is the practice of using artifacts of authority such as rules to extend your personal power over others. This can be viewed as trained incapacity whereby you learn sets of rules and take them far too seriously while missing the bigger picture.

Convergent Thinking

Convergent thinking is the process of coming up with a known correct answer by applying a known method. This can be contrasted with divergent thinking that invents answers to questions that have no single correct answer. People educated in a system focused on convergent thinking may lose divergent thinking abilities that once came naturally to them.

Resistance to Change

Trained incapacity can be used to explain the common tendency for people to resist organizational change. When habit replaces creative and critical thought, a system starts to feel concrete, unchangeable and important. This is only a comfortable illusion as the real world is in a constant drive to change.

Overview

Trained incapacity is the tendency for knowledge and experience to solidify views and assumptions to the point that an individual may struggle to be creative or adapt to change.
Overview: Trained Incapacity
Type
Definition
Education, training, experience or habits that lead to an inability to think beyond a set of constraints and assumptions.
Related Concepts
Next: Unlearning

Thinking

This is the complete list of articles we have written about thinking.
Abductive Reasoning
Abstract Thinking
Abstraction
Aesthetics
Analogy
Analysis Paralysis
Analytical Thinking
Anomie
Argument
Argument From Silence
Arrow Of Time
Assertions
Automaticity
Backward Induction
Base Rate Fallacy
Benefit Of Doubt
Big Picture
Brainstorming
Call To Action
Catch 22
Causality
Choice Architecture
Circular Reasoning
Cognition
Cognitive Abilities
Cognitive Biases
Cold Logic
Collective Intelligence
Complexity Bias
Concept
Consciousness
Constructive Criticism
Convergent Thinking
Counterfactual Thinking
Creative Tension
Creeping Normality
Critical Thinking
Culture
Curse Of Knowledge
Decision Fatigue
Decision Framing
Decision Making
Defensive Pessimism
Design Thinking
Divergent Thinking
Educated Guess
Emotional Intelligence
Epic Meaning
Essential Complexity
Excluded Middle
Failure Of Imagination
Fallacies
Fallacy Fallacy
False Analogy
False Balance
False Dichotomy
False Equivalence
First Principles
Formal Logic
Four Causes
Fuzzy Logic
Gambler's Fallacy
Generalization
Golden Hammer
Good Judgement
Grey Area
Groupthink
Heuristics
Hindsight Bias
Hope
Idealism
Ideas
If-By-Whiskey
Illogical Success
Imagination
Independent Thinking
Inductive Reasoning
Inference
Influencing
Informal Logic
Information
Information Cascade
Introspection
Intuition
Inventive Step
Learning
Lifestyle
Logic
Logical Argument
Logical Thinking
Ludic Fallacy
Magical Thinking
Meaning
Mental Experiences
Mental State
Mindset
Misuse of Statistics
Motivated Reasoning
Natural Language
Nirvana Fallacy
Norms
Not Even Wrong
Objective Reason
Objectivity
Opinion
Overthinking
Perception
Personal Values
Perspective
Positive Thinking
Practical Thinking
Pragmatism
Premise
Problem Solving
Proof By Example
Propositional Logic
Prosecutor's Fallacy
Radical Chic
Rational Thought
Realism
Reality
Reason
Reasoning
Red Herring
Reflective Thinking
Reification
Relativism
Salience
Scarcity Mindset
Scientism
Selective Attention
Serendipity
Situational Awareness
Sour Grapes
State Of Mind
Storytelling
Subjectivity
Systems Thinking
Thinking
Thought Experiment
Unknown Unknowns
Visual Thinking
Want To Believe
Whataboutism
Win-Win Thinking
Wishful Thinking
Worldview
If you enjoyed this page, please consider bookmarking Simplicable.
 

Thought Processes

A list of thinking approaches and types.

Logic

A few logic terms explained.

Cognitive Biases

A list of common cognitive biases explained.

Abstract Ideas

A few dangers of being too abstract.

Objective vs Subjective

The difference between objective and subjective.

Intellectual Diversity

A definition of intellectual diversity with examples.

Creative Value

The definition of creative value with examples.

Anecdotal Evidence

The definition of anecdotal evidence with examples.

Benefit Of Doubt

The definition of benefit of doubt with examples.

Pessimism

The definition of pessimism with examples.

Fallacies

A list of logical fallacies.

Fallacy Fallacy

The fallacy of being too worried about fallacy.

Broken Window Fallacy

An overview of the broken window fallacy.

Overwhelming Exception

A common logical fallacy.

Prosecutor's Fallacy

An overview of the Prosecutor's Fallacy.

Whataboutism

The definition of whataboutism with examples.

Double Bind

The definition of a double bind with examples.

False Equivalence

The definition of false equivalence with examples.
The most popular articles on Simplicable in the past day.

New Articles

Recent posts or updates on Simplicable.
Site Map