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Trustworthy experts and untrustworthy experts: insights from the cognitive psychology of expertise

Waters, Andrew J. and Gobet, Fernand ORCID: 0000-0002-9317-6886 (2024) Trustworthy experts and untrustworthy experts: insights from the cognitive psychology of expertise. In: Farina, Mirko and Lavazza, Andrea, (eds.) Philosophy, Expertise, and the Myth of Neutrality. Routledge Studies in Contemporary Philosophy. Routledge, New York, NY, 13 - 28. ISBN 9781032449159

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Identification Number: 10.4324/9781003374480-3


A central concern of the book is the importance of being able to distinguish “trustworthy subjects - who increase the epistemic welfare of our communities - from those untrustworthy individuals, who instead do not deserve our epistemic credit”. This question is addressed from the perspective of the cognitive psychology of expertise. It is argued that trustworthy subjects, or “true experts”, are different from “untrustworthy subjects” in three ways. First, true experts can only develop in a regular environment in which there are reliable relationships between cues and outcomes that are “learnable”. Second, individuals need to have the opportunity to learn relationships between cues and outcomes. This requires a kind learning environment, which provides continuous, fast, and accurate feedback. Third, individuals need the opportunity to engage in long periods of structured practice. Over time, performance becomes more accurate (less bias) and less variable (less noise). It is noted that accuracy is easier to define in some domains than others. The chapter also compares human experts with machine experts. Overall, true experts can be found in regular learning environments when they have had the opportunity to learn relationships over a long period. These individuals, who are accurate and consistent, deserve our epistemic credit.

Item Type: Book Section
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2024 selection and editorial matter, the editors; individual chapters, the contributors.
Divisions: CPNSS
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
Date Deposited: 29 Apr 2024 12:45
Last Modified: 18 Jul 2024 19:39

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