Motivated by this question about programming and intelligence, I've noticed that people often judge other people's competence in terms of how well they perform on the domains that they have more expertise. A few examples:

  • I'm a good programmer. This manager can't program.
  • I'm a good manager. This programmer doesn't know how to lead others.
  • I'm a good statistician. This applied researcher knows so little about statistics.
  • I'm a good applied researcher. this statistician knows so little about the substantive problems in this research context.

In particular, while such claims may be factual statements. The bias occurs when a person's overall competence is evaluated relative to your own standards of expertise, rather than what is objectively important for the other person.

Does this bias of evaluating others competence by your own areas of expertise have a formal name?


1 Answer 1


I think its Professional Ethnocentrism. That is the professional culture of the programmer promoting itself automatically above the culture of the manager and likewise. Judging and comparison is a major problem in all ethnocentric behaviors.

Ethnocentrism is judging another culture solely by the values and standards of one's own culture. Ethnocentric individuals judge other groups relative to their own ethnic group or culture, especially with concern for language, behavior, customs, and religion. These ethnic distinctions and subdivisions serve to define each ethnicity's unique cultural identity. Ethnocentrism may be overt or subtle, and while it is considered a natural proclivity of human psychology, it has developed a generally negative connotation.

..."the technical name for the view of things in which one's own group is the center of everything, and all others are scaled and rated with reference to it."...

-Wikipedia Ethonocentrism


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