Double illusion of transparency

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In educational or explanatory settings, the double illusion of transparency refers to a situation where the person who is doing the teaching or explaining, as well as the person who is doing the listening or understanding, both falsely believe that that explanation is being understood as originally intended. Explicitly:

  • The person explaining believes that the other person is understanding it correctly.
  • The person listening believes that he/she is understanding the other person correctly.
  • In fact, both sides are communicating in a manner where each is affirming to the other person that the process of explaining and understanding is proceeding smoothly.
  • However, the person listening is not really understanding what the other person is trying to explain.

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