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27 Jul 2015

How Does Internet Influence What We Think We Know?

Confidence is important to success. It is a key to influencing others. What we know boosts our confidence. Experts agree that internet allows us to know more. An article though got me thinking from another point of view. How does internet influence what we think we know?

There is always a difference between how we see ourselves and how we are. That includes between what we know and what we think we know. Usually, we think it is bad if our view of the world and ourselves differs much from the way they really are. Is it though?

The Basics of What We Think We Know

To see how internet influence what we think we know, we need to first grasp the basics of what we think we know. What influences it?

A key one that relates to internet is how much we personally invest in knowledge. How much of our own time, money and effort do we expend to know more? How do they effect what we think we know?

How does internet influence what we think we know?

Figure 1: When we want to know how does internet influence what we think we know, we begin by looking at how our personal investment in knowledge influences that.

Figure #1 shows the answer from the article. As we increase our personal investment in knowledge, what we think we know rises much faster than what we know. For instance, if we spend more time in class than another student we will do better. Is that true though?

How Does Internet Influence Our Self-View?

We invest our time, money and effort into internet. We use internet to learn more, to know more. The article’s researchers show that internet has us think we know more than we do.

Is this bad though? We can do better with the same amount of knowledge if we are more confident. In a Top Gun DVD commentary, a Top Gun instructor emphasized the need for pilots to feel invincible. What could be more overconfidence?

Increasing Personal ROI in Knowledge

That means that for every ounce of personal investment in knowledge that we make, we get more than an ounce of knowledge. We get an ounce plus. That plus is confidence.

How does internet influence what we think we know then? It makes us think we know more than we do. It helps us feel more invincible than we are. It helps us to have more confidence in what we do know . . . even if we do not know it so well.

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