In other words, why are professionals/experts good at doing what they know to do for others but not for themselves ? What is the psychological bias behind this ?

Of course this questions comes from the popular saying which is only a saying, but for the sake of the question we'll assume that most professionals fall to this flaw. Dentists have poor teeth, doctors are fat, webdesigner have ugly sites, hairdressers have bad haircuts, masons have bent houses, etc

I read that the simple explanation is that they are humans like others and have flaws. But it doesn't explain why their flaw happens to precisely be in their field of competence.

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    $\begingroup$ Are you sure this isn't selection bias: you tend to only notice when it happens? $\endgroup$
    – D. Halsey
    Oct 11, 2020 at 0:28
  • $\begingroup$ @D.Halsey It could be, we would need statistics the % of badly shod shoemakers. But it's another question. For my question we'll assume they are all badly shod. $\endgroup$ Oct 11, 2020 at 0:51
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    $\begingroup$ Do you have an example to give related to Psychology or Neuroscience? If you are talking about situations like why therapists might need therapy that question has been answered. $\endgroup$ Oct 11, 2020 at 8:25
  • $\begingroup$ The question you're mentioning was "why they need it" while mine is "why they don't get it". I don't see why a Psychology or Neuroscience specific examples is needed, the question itself is a psychological matter. $\endgroup$ Oct 11, 2020 at 10:18
  • $\begingroup$ "Dentists have poor teeth, doctors are fat, webdesigner have ugly sites, hairdressers have bad haircuts, masons have bent houses, etc". Ok, I'll grant you that some doctors are a little overweight, but there are dentists with bad teeth? Hairdressers with bad haircuts? Builders with badly built homes? I have yet to see that personally. $\endgroup$ Oct 13, 2020 at 8:42

1 Answer 1


I've been asking myself this question for a couple years now and so far the best explanation that came to my mind this :

Shoemakers are badly shod because they are the only one who they as shoemakers can put bad shoes on without risking complaint. Moreover they are also the only one who will not reward them for putting on good shoes.

In other words it is a bit like vacations. When they put on bad shoes for themselves, they feel relieved from work.

  • $\begingroup$ For the reasons mentioned in the comments under your question, I just can't quite accept that this would adequately answer the question. If you don't get any upvotes on this, maybe this should be added to your question. $\endgroup$ Oct 13, 2020 at 8:46
  • $\begingroup$ @ChrisRogers then please make the adequate answer $\endgroup$ Oct 13, 2020 at 12:54

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