I spend a fair amount of time perusing the internet blogs, twitter, etc. In general it feels that most people are very confident of the correctness of their view of reality, right, and wrong. This has led to droves of online "experts", a perceived inflexibility, and a lack of curiosity of other points of view. Is my assessment somewhat accurate and, if so, why is this happening? Is this due to the internet and ease of finding information, good and bad?

Are there any studies that demonstrate this, one way or the other?

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    Not just that, @Brett Olson, but also because interpersonal interaction over the internet is often 'twice removed' due to impersonal typing and anonymous usernames. So it's easy to assert the dominance of knowledge with a sense of being right in one's opinions, apparently founded on fact, but often erroneous. Aug 17, 2017 at 20:58
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    This feels a little broad without some context or an example to work with.
    – apaul
    Aug 17, 2017 at 21:19
  • Made the question less broad and opinion-based by asking for "studies" on the subject.
    – Tom Au
    Aug 18, 2017 at 1:02
  • @henning If you have an answer, please post it below. Links sending users elsewhere for that information doesns't help this site, and answering questions in comments only invites others to respond and doesn't actually help curate content that can be properly vetted. Thanks. Aug 18, 2017 at 15:27
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    @RobertCartaino it seems to have helped OP, but I see your point. No time to write a full answer, though. I have to say I prefer the policy over at academia.se to encourage expansion of comments into answers without deleting the comment.
    – user510
    Aug 18, 2017 at 15:30

1 Answer 1


No, and yes

No, this phenomenon is widely known in every land, and even from the ancient times. In Indonesia there is a saying that roughly translate to "empty barrel sounds loudest", and "ripple in the water means it is shallow", which means people who do the most talk, mostly do the least.

In this article (I believe there is older research, but I can't find it), the title says it all "Self-Proclaimed Experts More Vulnerable to the Illusion of Knowledge".

Why? Because they think they're full and refuse to accept more knowledge. There is even a Chinese saying for that. They think they're smart, and an expert who must be right.

Yes, because this is worsened by the revolution of information distribution. If mail arrives days or even weeks, now internet allow the exchange of information and knowledge in seconds. People can self-learn many topics in short time, but without experience in the field. This led to the cup "filled" so quickly, while in reality they have just a drip of the knowledge of the topic.

Don't forget that the internet allow people to communicate easily, and in that sense, argue over a topic easily. Internet also allow people to view people arguments publicly over social media (twitter war, anyone?). Some people actually love arguing openly because they want the sense of dominating the other party, but this topic is for another question.

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    +1 for a very good answer with references: Crucially, a so-called expert cannot admit of any ignorance, even if they must therefore invent possibly wrong answers to maintain the aura of expertise. Aug 17, 2017 at 21:29
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    Remind me of this quote : Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something.
    – Revol729
    Aug 18, 2017 at 1:14
  • As Shakespeare wrote "As who should say, “I am Sir Oracle,. And when I ope my lips, let no dog bark!”"
    – Abhigyan
    Aug 18, 2017 at 2:00
  • I'd add that due to the internet, extreme viewpoints may stick out more. First, because we typically "see" extreme viewpoints more clearly, they stick with us and give us food for thought (or appal us). And second, because, on the net, you will find an "expert" or "extremist" on every topic. In your local circle, views are typically somewhat homogenous, maybe you have one "expert" for one field and one extremist with regard to some topic. But you won't have the "best" cough expert or the most extreme - on the net, you will find mutlitple "experts/extremists" for every topic. Aug 18, 2017 at 12:54
  • If you agree with my remark feel free to incorporate, probably not gonna write a separate answer. Aug 18, 2017 at 12:55

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