Hammering a Nail Outside the Box

Here‘s a very interesting article on the cognitive cost of expertise. The author takes us through some studies, particularly of London Taxi drivers, that when you learn a particular skill, you have a very hard time changing that skill. London cab drivers had a tough time figuring out the new Canary Wharf layout.

“To a man with a hammer, every problem is a nail”.

This really resonates with me. The process of applying new cognitive strategies to solve problems that ‘experts’ in a field are struggling with (by, perhaps, using a strategy from another area of expertise), is called “thinking outside of the box”.