Amateur here.

Let's suppose I know a person who is an expert on a certain subject, say history. Since I like history myself, I will ask him/her a number of questions on subjects that I know only superficially: I studied them in school but I have now almost no remembrance of those facts and of what they implied. This person will usually answer me with details but, from time to time, I find him/her unable to answer. Although it is clear to me (and probably to others) that s/he does not have the knowledge, or the understanding, to actually answer the question, s/he actually makes up some excuses such as that it is a complicated argument, or that I would not be able to understand it because I am no expert (implying that s/he is).

To my eyes, this person is not only avoiding to face an issue, but also suppressing it in such a way that something that should be a chance to learn becomes actually a change to boost the ego.

Would this be an avoidance behaviour/disorder? Is there any other more specific definition to describe that mechanism?

  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to psych.SE. Do you have any evidence, other than your interpretation of personal experience, that this is actually "a thing"? That is to say, there are a variety of different ways that such situations can be interpreted, other than the one you have in mind. We generally recommend doing some background research to either help phrase questions in a manner suitable for the subject, or at least to demonstrate that assumptions made are valid - otherwise this question is likely to be closed as off-topic. $\endgroup$
    – Arnon Weinberg
    Feb 12 '20 at 18:43
  • $\begingroup$ @ArnonWeinberg, it is a supposition, it considers some assumptions for sure. It basically is saying "given this scenario, would this be the right terminology?". If insufficient, what kind of evidence/background should I give as additions? $\endgroup$
    – Py-ser
    Feb 12 '20 at 19:06

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