Paolo Legrenzi

The social dimension of tacit knowledge in everyday life

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: First Impression; Face Recognition; Tacit Knowledge; Social Categorization; Uncertainty; Adaptive Strategy.

First impressions of people's personalities are often formed by using the visual appearance of their faces. Defining how quickly these impressions can be formed has critical implications for understanding tacit social knowledge in everyday life. «Baby faced» adults are assumed to be warmer, more honest, more naive and weaker than their mature-faced peers. From an evolutionary perspective, this over-attribution may be an adaptive strategy that allows people to fast categorization and to reduce uncertainty about the future behaviour of other people, maximizing the opportunity to build tacit knowledge for social interaction. It is possible to show that people fixate more frequently on the body, relative to the face, when they were thinking about the feeling of sexual desire that when they were thinking about or feeling love. Although little is known about the science of love at first sight or how people fall in love, these patterns of response provide clues regarding how tacit and automatic processes modulate feelings. When connection with other humans is deemed impossible, the drive to fulfill this motivation may manifest itself in the attribution of mental states to nonhuman entities, such as gadgets and pets (see the film "Cast Avay"). The concept of «tacit knowledge» is a cornerstone not only for understanding social everyday life, but also for the organizational knowledge creation theory. In both fields, tacit and explicit knowledge interact along a continuum.

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