The Hidden Cost of Gaining Expertise

Expertise is great, right? Ironically, Matthew Rocklage and his colleagues find that the more expertise we gain in a given area, the more “emotionally numb” we can become. Gaining knowledge about a passion-driven pursuit can, in fact, diminish the emotional component of our passion for it. They recently spoke with Fast Company about their recent work in JCR, which was conducted across more than 700,000 consumers and 6 million observations, and showed that developing expertise in a hedonic domain predicts consumers becoming more emotionally numb—that is, having less intense emotion in response to their experiences.

Read Derek Rucker’s and Loran F Nordgren’s Fast Company discussion of their JCR work here:

Read the full paper:

Journal of Consumer Research, ucab015,
Published: 15 March 2021