The Difference Between Novices And Experts

If you'd like some confirmation or at least indication that you're growing in expertise, take a look at the kind of feedback you most respond to and look for. One study found that as we go from novice to expert, we start focusing on more negative feedback.

Photo by Mai Le.

Eric Barker, writing on his blog Barking up the wrong tree, cites research from the Journal of Consumer Research, which suggests that when people are new at a task or endeavour they focus more on positive feedback (e.g. "good job!") so they can stay committed, while experts seek and respond to negative feedback (e.g. what's been done wrong) because they want to make more progress.

So, if you've been honing in on and asking for (or thinking about) negative feedback like how you could improve, consider that a good sign.

What Marks the Transition from Novice to Expert? [Barking up the wrong tree]


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