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Essay on Knowledge is Power: Samples in 100, 200, 300 Words

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  • Updated on  
  • Dec 15, 2023

Essay on knowldege is power

‘ Knowledge is power’ phrase is derived from a Latin term, which is attributed to Sir Francis Bacon, a well-known essayist of all times. Knowledge is power has been accepted widely and timelessly as it underscores the significance of knowledge in empowering people, societies and countries . 

Benjamin Franklin once said, ‘An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.’ Knowledge not only improves a person’s understanding of the world but also teaches them life lessons to develop decision-making skills and contribute to the betterment of society. Below we have discussed some essays on knowledge is power in different word limits.

This Blog Includes:

Essay on knowledge is power in 100 words, essay on knowledge is power in 200 words, essay on knowledge is power in 300 words.

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‘Knowledge is power’ is a timeless truth. A person with knowledge can empower himself to make informed decisions, enhance personal growth and contribute to the development of society. Knowledge equips us with effective tools to navigate the challenges of life and achieve our goals in real-time. The pursuit of knowledge is education. A person who is educated and has the right knowledge will find success in life. 

The world we live in is driven by knowledge-based education and innovations. From agriculture to healthcare, every activity and field requires you to have proper knowledge and understanding of it. Whether it is at the individual level or global level, people who prioritize education and knowledge enjoy economic prosperity and influence.

Also Read – Essay on Yoga

Knowledge is so powerful that it can reshape the entire world or destroy it, depending on the purpose for which it is used. The phrase, ‘Knowledge is Power’ was given by Sir Francis Bacon. With knowledge, one can have a profound impact on their life and the people surrounding it.

Knowledge emperors a person in various ways, from personal growth to changes at the global level. With knowledge, we gain new skills, insights and perspectives about a particular subject. This equips us to excel in our chosen field, pursue all our aspirations and fulfil our dream life.

A person with the right knowledge can make informed decisions. If you are someone who possesses broad knowledge about different subjects, it will be very easy for you to critically analyze any situation, weigh options and make choices that best suit your plans. This not only leads to better personal outcomes but also fosters a sense of autonomy and self-determination. Knowledge is considered as the driving force behind progress. Scientific discoveries, technological innovations, cultural evolution and social developments are all fueled by accumulated knowledge. A very classic example of this is the history of human civilization. We must use knowledge knowledge ethically and ensure its equitable distribution or access.

Also Read – Essay on Unity in Diversity

Knowledge is deemed as the most powerful tool a human possesses. It is the cornerstone of power in our modern society. The universally acknowledged phrase ‘Knowledge is power’ highlights the profound impact knowledge has on individuals and society, and both.

The first thing to know about knowledge is that it is the key to personal development and empowerment. When a person acquires knowledge, they open doors to personal growth and development. Depending on the person’s expertise and field, this empowerment can come in various forms. I person with the right knowledge often finds himself confident, adaptable, and capable of overcoming obstacles in life.

Moreover, knowledge equips you to make informed decisions. We are living in a world which is driven by information. A person who is well-equipped with knowledge about his or her specific field can critically assess a situation, evaluate the options and make choices that best suit their individual needs and values. This not only enhances their personal lives but also fosters a sense of agency and self-determination.

Knowledge is the driving force behind progress, development and innovation. From the time of industrialization to the invention of the internet, knowledge has been the deciding factor for transformative change, improving the quality of life for countless individuals. 

The importance of knowledge is not only limited to individual benefits of scientific discoveries. It also plays a critical role in a country’s governance. It allows you to make informed political decisions, and actively participate in the democratic process. In this way, knowledge serves as a safeguard against tyranny and injustice.

At last, the phrase ‘knowledge is power’ remains a timeless truth that highlights the profound impact of knowledge on a person’s development and societal changes. With this power comes the responsibility to use knowledge ethically and ensure equal access for all, as knowledge remains a vital path to personal and collective empowerment in our ever-changing world.

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The phrase ‘knowledge itself is power’ denotes the meaning that knowing empowers your understanding of the world so that you can make informed decisions for yourself and others. In this way, knowledge is equal to power, as it can help in shaping the future of an individual to an entire country.

Knowledge is considered as an accumulation of information, skills facts and understanding acquired through deep learning, experience and observation. It represents a deep and organised awareness of the world around us, encompassing various fields of knowledge, such as culture, science and technology, history and practical know-how. Knowledge empowers individuals by providing the tools to make informed decisions, solve problems, and navigate life’s complexities. It serves as a foundation for personal growth, innovation, and societal progress, shaping our perceptions and actions. 

A person can improve their knowledge by reading informative articles, newspapers and books, enrolling in courses related to their field of study, attending workshops and seminars, engaging in discussions, etc.

For more information on such interesting topics, visit our essay writing page and follow Leverage Edu .

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Shiva Tyagi

With an experience of over a year, I've developed a passion for writing blogs on wide range of topics. I am mostly inspired from topics related to social and environmental fields, where you come up with a positive outcome.

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Human intelligence: have we reached the limit of knowledge?

knowledge is limitless essay

Postdoctoral Researcher of the Philosophy of Science, Ghent University

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Maarten Boudry receives funding from the Research Foundation – Flanders (FWO).

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Despite huge advances in science over the past century, our understanding of nature is still far from complete. Not only have scientists failed to find the Holy Grail of physics – unifying the very large (general relativity) with the very small (quantum mechanics) – they still don’t know what the vast majority of the universe is made up of. The sought after Theory of Everything continues to elude us. And there are other outstanding puzzles, too, such as how consciousness arises from mere matter.

Will science ever be able to provide all the answers? Human brains are the product of blind and unguided evolution. They were designed to solve practical problems impinging on our survival and reproduction, not to unravel the fabric of the universe. This realisation has led some philosophers to embrace a curious form of pessimism , arguing there are bound to be things we will never understand. Human science will therefore one day hit a hard limit – and may already have done so.

Some questions may be doomed to remain what the American linguist and philosopher Noam Chomsky called “mysteries” . If you think that humans alone have unlimited cognitive powers – setting us apart from all other animals – you have not fully digested Darwin’s insight that Homo Sapiens is very much part of the natural world.

But does this argument really hold up? Consider that human brains did not evolve to discover their own origins either. And yet somehow we managed to do just that. Perhaps the pessimists are missing something.

Mysterian arguments

“Mysterian” thinkers give a prominent role to biological arguments and analogies. In his 1983 landmark book The Modularity of Mind , the late philosopher Jerry Fodor claimed that there are bound to be “thoughts that we are unequipped to think”.

Similarly, the philosopher Colin McGinn has argued in a series of books and articles that all minds suffer from “cognitive closure” with respect to certain problems. Just as dogs or cats will never understand prime numbers, human brains must be closed off from some of the world’s wonders. McGinn suspects that the reason why philosophical conundrums such as the mind/body problem – how physical processes in our brain give rise to consciousness – prove to be intractable is that their true solutions are simply inaccessible to the human mind.

If McGinn is right that our brains are simply not equipped to solve certain problems, there is no point in even trying, as they will continue to baffle and bewilder us. McGinn himself is convinced that there is, in fact, a perfectly natural solution to the mind–body problem, but that human brains will never find it.

Even the psychologist Steven Pinker , someone who is often accused of scientific hubris himself , is sympathetic to the argument of the mysterians. If our ancestors had no need to understand the wider cosmos in order to spread their genes, he argues , why would natural selection have given us the brainpower to do so?

Mind-boggling theories

Mysterians typically present the question of cognitive limits in stark, black-or-white terms: either we can solve a problem, or it will forever defy us. Either we have cognitive access or we suffer from closure. At some point, human inquiry will suddenly slam into a metaphorical brick wall, after which we will be forever condemned to stare in blank incomprehension.

Another possibility, however, which mysterians often overlook, is one of slowly diminishing returns. Reaching the limits of inquiry might feel less like hitting a wall than getting bogged down in a quagmire. We keep slowing down, even as we exert more and more effort, and yet there is no discrete point beyond which any further progress at all becomes impossible.

There is another ambiguity in the thesis of the mysterians, which my colleague Michael Vlerick and I have pointed out in an academic paper. Are the mysterians claiming that we will never find the true scientific theory of some aspect of reality, or alternatively, that we may well find this theory but will never truly comprehend it?

In the science fiction series The Hitchhiker’s Guide to The Galaxy , an alien civilisation builds a massive supercomputer to calculate the Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe and Everything. When the computer finally announces that the answer is “42”, no one has a clue what this means (in fact, they go on to construct an even bigger supercomputer to figure out precisely this).

Is a question still a “mystery” if you have arrived at the correct answer, but you have no idea what it means or cannot wrap your head around it? Mysterians often conflate those two possibilities.

In some places, McGinn suggests that the mind–body problem is inaccessible to human science, presumably meaning that we will never find the true scientific theory describing the mind–body nexus. At other moments, however, he writes that the problem will always remain “numbingly difficult to make sense of” for human beings, and that “the head spins in theoretical disarray” when we try to think about it.

This suggests that we may well arrive at the true scientific theory, but it will have a 42-like quality to it. But then again, some people would argue that this is already true of a theory like quantum mechanics. Even the quantum physicist Richard Feynman admitted , “I think I can safely say that nobody understands quantum mechanics.”

Would the mysterians say that we humans are “cognitively closed” to the quantum world? According to quantum mechanics, particles can be in two places at once, or randomly pop out of empty space. While this is extremely hard to make sense of, quantum theory leads to incredibly accurate predictions. The phenomena of “quantum weirdness” have been confirmed by several experimental tests , and scientists are now also creating applications based on the theory .

Mysterians also tend to forget how mindboggling some earlier scientific theories and concepts were when initially proposed. Nothing in our cognitive make-up prepared us for relativity theory, evolutionary biology or heliocentrism.

knowledge is limitless essay

As the philosopher Robert McCauley writes : “When first advanced, the suggestions that the Earth moves, that microscopic organisms can kill human beings, and that solid objects are mostly empty space were no less contrary to intuition and common sense than the most counterintuitive consequences of quantum mechanics have proved for us in the twentieth century.” McCauley’s astute observation provides reason for optimism, not pessimism.

Mind extensions

But can our puny brains really answer all conceivable questions and understand all problems? This depends on whether we are talking about bare, unaided brains or not. There’s a lot of things you can’t do with your naked brain. But Homo Sapiens is a tool-making species, and this includes a range of cognitive tools.

For example, our unaided sense organs cannot detect UV-light, ultrasound waves, X-rays or gravitational waves. But if you’re equipped with some fancy technology you can detect all those things. To overcome our perceptual limitations, scientists have developed a suite of tools and techniques: microscopes, X-ray film, Geiger counters, radio satellites detectors and so forth.

All these devices extend the reach of our minds by “translating” physical processes into some format that our sense organs can digest. So are we perceptually “closed” to UV light? In one sense, yes. But not if you take into account all our technological equipment and measuring devices.

In a similar way, we use physical objects (such as paper and pencil) to vastly increase the memory capacity of our naked brains. According to the British philosopher Andy Clark , our minds quite literally extend beyond our skins and skulls, in the form of notebooks, computers screens, maps and file drawers.

Mathematics is another fantastic mind-extension technology, which enables us to represent concepts that we couldn’t think of with our bare brains. For instance, no scientist could hope to form a mental representation of all the complex interlocking processes that make up our climate system. That’s exactly why we have constructed mathematical models and computers to do the heavy lifting for us.

Cumulative knowledge

Most importantly, we can extend our own minds to those of our fellow human beings. What makes our species unique is that we are capable of culture, in particular cumulative cultural knowledge. A population of human brains is much smarter than any individual brain in isolation.

And the collaborative enterprise par excellence is science. It goes without saying that no single scientist would be capable of unravelling the mysteries of the cosmos on her own. But collectively, they do. As Isaac Newton wrote, he could see further by “standing on the shoulders of giants”. By collaborating with their peers, scientists can extend the scope of their understanding, achieving much more than any of them would be capable of individually.

Today, fewer and fewer people understand what is going on at the cutting edge of theoretical physics – even physicists. The unification of quantum mechanics and relativity theory will undoubtedly be exceptionally daunting, or else scientists would have nailed it long ago already.

The same is true for our understanding of how the human brain gives rise to consciousness, meaning and intentionality. But is there any good reason to suppose that these problems will forever remain out of reach? Or that our sense of bafflement when thinking of them will never diminish?

In a public debate I moderated a few years ago, the philosopher Daniel Dennett pointed out a very simple objection to the mysterians’ analogies with the minds of other animals: other animals cannot even understand the questions. Not only will a dog never figure out if there’s a largest prime, but it will never even understand the question. By contrast, human beings can pose questions to each other and to themselves, reflect on these questions, and in doing so come up with ever better and more refined versions.

Mysterians are inviting us to imagine the existence of a class of questions that are themselves perfectly comprehensible to humans, but the answers to which will forever remain out of reach. Is this notion really plausible (or even coherent)?

Alien anthropologists

knowledge is limitless essay

To see how these arguments come together, let’s do a thought experiment. Imagine that some extraterrestrial “anthropologists” had visited our planet around 40,000 years ago to prepare a scientific report about the cognitive potential of our species. Would this strange, naked ape ever find out about the structure of its solar system, the curvature of space-time or even its own evolutionary origins?

At that moment in time, when our ancestors were living in small bands of hunter-gatherers , such an outcome may have seemed quite unlikely. Although humans possessed quite extensive knowledge about the animals and plants in their immediate environment, and knew enough about the physics of everyday objects to know their way around and come up with some clever tools, there was nothing resembling scientific activity.

There was no writing, no mathematics, no artificial devices for extending the range of our sense organs. As a consequence, almost all of the beliefs held by these people about the broader structure of the world were completely wrong. Human beings didn’t have a clue about the true causes of natural disaster, disease, heavenly bodies, the turn of the seasons or almost any other natural phenomenon.

Our extraterrestrial anthropologist might have reported the following:

Evolution has equipped this upright, walking ape with primitive sense organs to pick up some information that is locally relevant to them, such as vibrations in the air (caused by nearby objects and persons) and electromagnetic waves within the 400-700 nanometer range, as well as certain larger molecules dispersed in their atmosphere.

knowledge is limitless essay

However, these creatures are completely oblivious to anything that falls outside their narrow perceptual range. Moreover, they can’t even see most of the single-cell life forms in their own environment, because these are simply too small for their eyes to detect. Likewise, their brains have evolved to think about the behaviour of medium-sized objects (mostly solid) under conditions of low gravity. None of these earthlings has ever escaped the gravitational field of their planet to experience weightlessness, or been artificially accelerated so as to experience stronger gravitational forces. They can’t even conceive of space-time curvature, since evolution has hard-wired zero-curvature geometry of space into their puny brains. In conclusion, we’re sorry to report that most of the cosmos is simply beyond their ken.

But those extraterrestrials would have been dead wrong. Biologically, we are no different than we were 40,000 years ago, but now we know about bacteria and viruses, DNA and molecules, supernovas and black holes, the full range of the electromagnetic spectrum and a wide array of other strange things.

We also know about non-Euclidean geometry and space-time curvature, courtesy of Einstein’s general theory of relativity . Our minds have “reached out” to objects millions of light years away from our planet, and also to extremely tiny objects far below the perceptual limits of our sense organs. By using various tricks and tools, humans have vastly extended their grasp on the world.

The verdict: biology is not destiny

The thought experiment above should be a counsel against pessimism about human knowledge. Who knows what other mind-extending devices we will hit upon to overcome our biological limitations? Biology is not destiny. If you look at what we have already accomplished in the span of a few centuries, any rash pronouncements about cognitive closure seem highly premature.

Mysterians often pay lip service to the values of “humility” and “modesty”, but on closer examination, their position is far less restrained than it appears. Take McGinn’s confident pronouncement that the mind–body problem is “an ultimate mystery” that we will “never unravel”. In making such a claim, McGinn assumes knowledge of three things: the nature of the mind–body problem itself, the structure of the human mind, and the reason why never the twain shall meet. But McGinn offers only a superficial overview of the science of human cognition, and pays little or no attention to the various devices for mind extension.

I think it’s time to turn the tables on the mysterians. If you claim that some problem will forever elude human understanding, you have to show in some detail why no possible combination of mind extension devices will bring us any closer to a solution. That is a taller order than most mysterians have acknowledged.

Moreover, by spelling out exactly why some problems will remain mysterious, mysterians risk being hoisted by their own petard. As Dennett wrote in his latest book : “As soon as you frame a question that you claim we will never be able to answer, you set in motion the very process that might well prove you wrong: you raise a topic of investigation.”

In one of his infamous memorandum notes on Iraq, former US secretary of defense, Donald Rumsfeld, makes a distinction between two forms of ignorance: the “known unknowns” and “unknown unknowns”. In the first category belong the things that we know we don’t know. We can frame the right questions, but we haven’t found the answers yet. And then there are the things that “we don’t know we don’t know”. For these unknown unknowns, we can’t even frame the questions yet.

It is quite true that we can never rule out the possibility that there are such unknown unknowns, and that some of them will forever remain unknown, because for some (unknown) reason human intelligence is not up to the task.

But the important thing to note about these unknown unknowns is that nothing can be said about them. To presume from the outset that some unknown unknowns will always remain unknown, as mysterians do, is not modesty – it’s arrogance.

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Question of the Month

What are the limits of knowledge, each answer below receives a book. apologies to the entrants not included..

To answer this question, first ‘knowledge’ must be defined. It is difficult to determine exactly what constitutes knowledge, so even this presents a limit to knowledge.

We might identify various forms of knowledge, such as declarative knowledge (knowing that), procedural knowledge (knowing how), personal knowledge (of experience, emotions) and shared knowledge (true ideas widely accepted in communities and cultures). Sir Karl Popper developed a theory of three worlds, in which World 2 is all subjective (personal) knowledge, while World 3 is all knowledge existing independent of individual minds, such as stories, theories, mathematical constructs, scientific concepts, cultural beliefs, and intellectual creations.

However, categorising knowledge into types does not tell us what it means to know something. One widespread philosophical definition of knowledge is Socrates’ idea of ‘Justified True Belief’ (JTB). This holds that to know some proposition p, the knower must believe that p is true, p must be true , and there must be good justification (good reasons, evidence, or argument) for believing p to be true. However, the problem with JTB is that justification is difficult to establish with certainty. This is shown in Gettier cases; Edmund Gettier demonstrated that some justifications for true beliefs may be a matter of luck, so that an apparently good justification for a true belief may be actually bad; for example, a person declares that it is 2pm (belief), and it is in fact 2pm (true), but his belief is based on seeing a clock that happens to have stopped ticking at 2am (justification). The core of the problem is knowing for certain that our justifications are good enough. This presents a limitation to our concept of knowledge itself.

Popper famously defined the limits of knowledge obtained through empirical (scientific) methods: his ‘falsification’ hypothesis states that genuine scientific theories can be falsified, that is, shown to be false. No matter how many white swans we observe, the claim ‘all swans are white’ requires only one black swan to falsify the claim. So, the only certain statement here is that ‘It’s possible not all swans are white’. Popper argued that our negative findings stimulate further enquiry, leading to further knowledge. Thus, according to Popper, knowledge is always incomplete. In which case, the quest for knowledge is surely limitless . As Einstein is quoted as saying, “The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don’t know.”

Martin Barge, London

Ne plus ultra is Latin for ‘nothing further beyond’. It is said to have been inscribed on the Pillars of Hercules at the western end of the Mediterranean, then the boundary of the known world, as a warning to ships to sail no further. In The Critique of Pure Reason (1781), Immanuel Kant invokes the Pillars of Hercules for the boundary of knowledge and warns that the ‘no further’ must be placarded on the Pillars of Hercules that “nature has erected, so that the voyage of our reason may proceed only as far as the continuous coastline of experience reaches.”

Before Kant, the assumption was that knowledge must conform to objects of sense experience. Instead, Kant argues that the objects of sense experience must conform to the cognitive faculties of the mind of the experiencer. The world as given to our experiences is dependent on the structure and activity of our minds. For instance, the fact that we cannot perceive anything that exists outside of time or which has no extension in space indicates that time and space are fundamental forms of perception that must already exist as innate structures for the human mind. The mind must also have preconscious categories of understanding and synthesis that apprehend and reproduce the raw data of sensory experience and recognize their features according to a conceptual framework. And since everything we perceive is filtered through the forms of space, time, and other categories of understanding, we can never really ‘know’ the actual (noumenal) world – the things in themselves – but only experience how they appear to us through these categories. So these categories are the necessary conditions of all experience.

Since human beings can know reality only by using the human conceptual framework and cannot step outside the limitations of our experience, our knowledge is inevitably limited. Therefore, as Kant said, we must not continue the voyage of our reason beyond the shores of experience, and cease all attempts to gain knowledge of such things as the intrinsic nature of the universe, the existence of God, self, free will and immortality. Going further will be perfectly hopeless, as we will be lost at sea.

Nella Leontieva, Randwick, New South Wales

The first recipient of a PhD in Art Education in the UK was also its first professor in the field. The award represented a new area of knowledge, not covered by its separate components. But this sort of recombination of fields is far from unprecedented. Indeed, knowledge continues to grow and expand within unitary areas, within combined ones, and across both. Melvin Bragg, presenter of BBC Radio 4’s In Our Time , recently referred to this “greatest age of expanding knowledge, a tumult of erupting knowledge.” Its expansion supports the contention that there is no foreseeable limit, at least to what we can know, unless we reach a point where all that we can know, is known. Beyond this there exists knowledge that we can apparently never know, because we are inextricably constrained by our limited capabilities.

For Kant, the world in itself, the noumenal world, is beyond us. Kant has an analogy of ‘irremovable spectacles’ of space and time through which our perception is enabled. Nevertheless, technological extensions to our sensory capacities, via scanning and computational augmentations to our reasoning and calculating may enable us to access knowledge exceeding that typically associated with human capability. Thus knowledge may become limitless , with a limitless increase of technologically-enhanced senses, with ever-more refined degrees of resolution, and perhaps even extending beyond limitations of human categories of understanding.

Colin Brookes, Loughborough

The quantity of knowledge that can be recorded is limited by the resources for data storage (including our brains), which, however large they become, are finite. A more philosophically interesting question is: are there kinds of knowledge denied to us?

One famous assertion that it is so is Wittgenstein’s “Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent.” However, this claim is in one sense false: there was a time when that ‘whereof one cannot speak’ was literally everything – and yet here we are speaking about all kinds of things. Better to say, whereof one cannot speak, one must devise new terminology.

One could argue that Wittgenstein’s claim was not meant to be taken so literally; but the reason why it isn’t literally true hints at why such attempts to define knowledge limits are presumptuous: we can’t know what new thought tools and media humanity will develop. Since emerging as a species, Homo sapiens has developed language, writing, logic and mathematics, diagrams, things to see the very large and very small, and more. All these qualitatively extend our ability to think far beyond what was possible for the earliest humans, who would not even have been aware of themselves as thinkers.

New tools are being invented all the time which may influence what knowledge can be recorded and transmitted. To give one example, in his essay ‘What Is It Like To Be A Bat?’, Thomas Nagel suggested that to objectively explain subjective experience, you would need to be able ‘to explain to a person blind from birth what it was like to see’. Fifty years later, researchers are working on techniques for direct brain stimulation for helping the visually impaired. Once these tools have reached maturity, you would not need to explain sight to a blind person, you could just give it to them. If there are limits to knowledge, the only way to know that is to reach them by continuing to step into the unknown and finding out what’s there.

Paul Western, Bath

Our knowledge is limited by many factors, including brain capacity, our sensory apparatus, the language we use, our experience, and our imagination. Our brain capacity affects the speed at which we can process information and recognize patterns, which limits our mathematical ability. Mental capacity also affects our linguistic ability, on which our ability to think critically depends. If we have no words to express a concept, we cannot think about that concept. George Orwell recognized this in 1984 , in which the government tried to eliminate critical thinking by introducing ‘Newspeak’.

Our sensory apparatus determines our perceptions and perspectives, but our perspective can be extended using tools such as telescopes, microscopes, and spectrometers. Yet as Kant correctly stated, even using these instruments, we cannot know an object itself, as our perception of an object is always distinct way of representing an object. Even our ability to imagine is limited by our experience and existing thoughts, ideas, and concepts. New ideas usually arise from re-arranging the ‘known’ in different ways. For example the Romans knew about toasting bread, but had no conception of electricity, so that they could not imagine an electric toaster.

Using our sensory apparatus, tools, ability to detect and analyze patterns, linguistic ability, critical thinking and out imagination, we can scientifically increase our knowledge of our world. However our scientific knowledge is constrained by the above limitations, as well by the limits of technology.

Russell Berg, Manchester

There are two primary ways in which knowledge can be limited. The first involves information that is comprehensible to us but which there’s no way to obtain. For instance, we will almost certainly never know what Julius Caesar ate for breakfast on his seventh birthday. But if some oracle told us that it was bacon and eggs with soldiers (or a Caesar salad), that would be easily understood. There’s mathematical knowledge of a similar nature.

The knowledge of Caesar’s breakfast is in principle obtainable. However, it is completely impractical to obtain this knowledge. On the other hand, some knowledge is unobtainable even in principle. There are, for example, events occurring so far from us that, due to the expansion of the universe, no information from them can ever reach us. Light (or other information) emitted from these events will always be getting farther away from us.

The second type of limited knowledge concerns information we cannot even comprehend. Our minds are either too limited, or perhaps there is no explanation available. Possible examples of incomprehensible knowledge include: (1) The explanation of consciousness (as suggested by Colin McGinn); (2) The nature of free will; (3) The fundamental question of why there is something rather than nothing.

At least we are aware that these are problems. Perhaps there are even facts of which our minds cannot comprehend any aspect. There is no way of knowing what these facts concern, much less the facts themselves: in which case I can perhaps be forgiven for not giving an example.

Richard Stanley, Coral Gables, Florida

Because knowledge accumulates over the totality of subjects over time, one is inclined to say that knowledge is unlimited. I will give a simple approach to substantiate this statement. Consider the simple statement: ‘S knows that p’ . Then: if ‘S knows that p’ (e.g. ‘Laura knows that it rains’) then S knows one proposition – hence has limited knowledge. The first extension of this statement is to replace p with a finite set of propositions, (p1, . . ., pk). If ‘S knows that (p1, . . ., pk)’, then S knows a set of propositions, hence has limited knowledge.

Now suppose we also have a finite (n) set of subjects, (S1,. . . Si,. . . ,Sn). Then: if ‘Each subject Si knows a specific finite set of propositions’, we can say that (S1,. . . Si,. . . ,Sn) knows the union of these finite sets of propositions, or that ‘(S1,. . . Si,. . . ,Sn) knows that (p1, . . ., pm)’ , that is, knows a finite set of propositions, hence has limited knowledge, even though this is greater than for any one individual. Of course this group knowledge can be very large. Many subjects together know many things. We can also say that the totality of subjects knows the union of these specific unions of propositions. Or, using h as the number of members in this union, then ‘The totality of subjects knows that (p1, . . ., ph)’. This knowledge is still limited, because h is not infinity. Yet the totality of subjects existing at any moment in time (the world) knows a huge number of things. But by absorbing the sets of propositions from all previous totalities and all totalities to come, the number of propositions arguably approaches infinity. Totalities change over time, propositions are accumulate over time. Therefore we have, now and in the future, unlimited knowledge.

Teije Euverman, Rotterdam

The limits of knowledge aren’t difficult to ascertain: all that we require is a precision on what the word knowledge signifies. Knowledge can be defined as ‘information or data received by the conscious mind’. Information without a recipient is simply part of the stuff that makes up our cosmos; alongside energy and matter, it is fundamental. But once the sentient mind apprehends information, it is transformed into knowledge: data that can be used creatively. The limits of knowledge are therefore tied into the limits of mind and the limits of information. But we are unable to say where the limits of mind may lie. All we might say is that there should be an upper limit to what a human mind can comprehend – and it is here that we may then draw the limit of knowledge. But information also has an upper limit: all that exists, across space and time. Once this is fully reflected by a mind, knowledge has come to its completion. So knowledge comes to its end in omniscience – the apprehension of all that exists. Yet whether there was, is, or ever will be a mind that can have all knowledge is suspect. Some of the more speculative physicists have argued that this may be realised as artificial intelligence advances to its maximum and harnesses the energy of galaxies. Such ideas appear in the science fiction of Arthur C. Clarke and Olaf Stapledon. Many religions have proposed God alone (usually a God who transcends the Universe) as being omniscient.

It is interesting to consider whether the apprehension of such a God of those aspects of reality that transcend our cosmos would be knowledge in the sense we’ve defined it. It provokes us to also consider what information and mind might themselves be based on. But with God, language itself starts to become suspect; these are just some indications of the frontiers of what we might ask.

Anthony A. MacIsaac, Paris

Knowledge will reach its limits when there is one last question to ask and someone to ask it.

Isaac Asimov provided a better way of responding to this question than I could, in his short story, ‘The Last Question’ (1956). The story concerns the question, ‘What will happen when entropy ends the last star in the cosmos?’ A computer called Multivac is asked it, but, unfortunately its answer is, “There is, as yet, insufficient data for a meaningful answer.” Over the next billions of years, Multivac evolves in hyperspace, but always supplying the same answer to the question. As the last star dims, the last intelligent life – an ethereal entity – asks again, and receives the same response. The entity then joins with Multivac, which has gathered all the knowledge gained from trillions of years in the cosmos. When the last star dies, Multivac still has this one answer to provide. Eventually, after aeons of thought, Multivac finds the answer. With no one to report the answer to, Multivac decides to demonstrate; and so says, “Let there be light!”

As long as one question that has never been answered exists and there is an entity that can ask the question, the limits of knowledge have not been reached. I think the very last question would have to be: Can we understand how all the pieces of the jigsaw fit together? I therefore propose the limits of knowledge are reached when everything is known and understood. Or would it be? And would the answer to that final question tell us why it was all created in the first place?

Richard Tod, Desborough, Northants

Some people think that language determines the limits of knowledge, yet it merely describes what we know rather than limits it, and humans have always had the facility to create new language to depict new knowledge.

There are many types of knowledge, but I’m going to restrict myself to knowledge of the natural world. The ancient Greeks were possibly the first to intuit that the natural world had its own code. The Pythagoreans appreciated that musical pitch had a mathematical relationship, and that some geometrical figures contained numerical ratios. They made the giant conceptual leap that this could possibly be a key to understanding the Cosmos itself.

Jump forward two millennia, and their insight has borne more fruit than they could possibly have imagined. Richard Feynman made the following observation about mathematics in The Character of Physical Law : “Physicists cannot make a conversation in any other language. If you want to learn about nature, to appreciate nature, it is necessary to understand the language that she speaks in. She offers her information only in one form.”

Meanwhile, the twentieth century logician Kurt Gödel proved that in any self-consistent, axiom-based, formal mathematical system, there will always be mathematical truths that can’t be proved true using that system. However, they potentially can be proved if one expands the axioms of the system. This infers that there is no limit to mathematical truths.

Alonso Church’s ‘paradox of unknowability’ states, “unless you know it all, there will always be truths that are by their very nature unknowable.” This applies to the physical universe itself. Specifically, since the vast majority of the Universe is unobservable, and possibly infinite in extent, most of it will remain forever unknowable. Given that the limits of knowledge are either infinite or unknowable in both the mathematical and physical worlds, then those limits are like a horizon that retreats as we advance towards it.

Paul P. Mealing, Melbourne

Knowledge has been defined as ‘justified true belief’. This is a philosopher’s view of knowledge. I would like to consider what we know and don’t know in a more basic, practical way.

First, we can have no real knowledge of the future. We may make informed guesses, even accurate predictions, but this cannot be counted as knowledge . Equally, although we know the broad sweep of the past, the everyday detail is largely unknown to us. We have reports of things that happened, were done and said, but this covers an infinitesimal part of the history of the world. Even the fine detail of what is happening around us today is largely unknown to us. In sum, our episodic knowledge is very limited.

It is more fruitful to consider what the limits are to what we know about the nature of reality, the physical laws which underpin it, and the entities that play a part in it. These are known unknowns that stand at the current limits of our knowledge. Some of the theories in need of more supporting evidence or explanation are dark matter, dark energy, string theory, quantum gravity, the multiverse, consciousness… Will full accounts of them be for ever beyond our reach? In some cases, there may be practical difficulties which mean that we will never obtain conclusive experimental evidence. Strings, if they exist, are incredibly small; Brian Greene said that a string is to an atom as a tree is to the universe. Thomas Hertog further said that “You would need a particle accelerator as large as the solar system to probe scales that small.” Yet, all hope is not lost: the LIGO detector was able to detect a change of one-thousandth the size of a proton in its 4-kilometre length caused by a gravitational wave! And AI with quantum computing may make lighter work of finding evidence and explanations. So will we eventually know everything there is to be known, or will there be an unfolding succession of unknowns, going on for ever like the extension of pi? Fortunately, we have five billion or so years before the Earth is engulfed by the Sun to find the answers.

Michael Brake, Epsom, Surrey

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Albert Einstein famously said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.” Through imagination, people can explore ideas of things that are not physically present, ranging from the familiar (e.g., a thick slice of chocolate cake) to the never-before-experienced (e.g., an alien spacecraft appearing in the sky).

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Unlike perception, imagination is not dependent on external sensory information taken from what a person can see, hear, feel, taste, or touch in the moment. Rather, it’s generated from within and often unconsciously influenced by memories and feelings. Humans use imagination for a variety of reasons: to acquire experience and knowledge about the world, to better understand another person’s perspective, to solve problems, to create and interact with artistic works, and more. Imagination tends to go hand-in-hand with creativity and plays a pivotal role in the different stages of development.

Daydreaming (or mind-wandering ) is an information-processing state that combines knowledge and imagination, the dynamic duo . Being more imaginative allows a person to make creative connections and inferences using their past experience and knowledge base. As a result, research indicates that more robust daydreaming is associated with superior intelligence.

For the most part, having an imagination is hugely beneficial to your life, lending you greater perspective and helping you achieve lofty goals . However, imagination can be harmful in those rare instances where imagination is mistaken for perception . This can occur whenever someone struggles with mentalization or the ability to differentiate between what’s real and what’s made up in their mind. A lack of mentalization can lead a person to react to an imagined fear (e.g., that the plane they’re in is going to crash) as if it’s real, frequently leading to great stress , anxiety , fear, and trauma.

Your imagination is full of potential just waiting to be tapped. There are many ways to jumpstart your imagination . Deliberately change your self-perception through tools like positive affirmations . Put on your observation hat and use all your senses to pay attention to what’s going on around you. Try closing your eyes for a few minutes and reliving a pleasant memory . Open yourself up to possibility by asking what would happen if you said “yes” to opportunity instead of “no.” Be curious and playful. Spend some more time in nature.

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Imagination can be a powerful tool in psychology. Many people deliberately use mental imagery to visualize desired outcomes (e.g., like winning a competition ), process past experiences, manage difficult emotions, or relax the mind and body (as in meditation ). There is a strong if not entirely understood connection between the mind and the body. Trained mental health professionals may employ imagination in the form of guided therapeutic imagery to help patients address a number of concerns, including grief , depression , stress and anxiety, substance use issues, relationship problems, family and parenting concerns, and PTSD .

Daydreaming is often dismissed as a useless waste of time, but dreams of glory can actually boost creativity and self-control . It occurs when the executive attention network and the default mode network collaborate together. Daydreaming allows people to shut out their external environment and clarify positive, long-term goals towards which they can then work. Visualizing their future self can motivate them to take the necessary steps to hone their skills and achieve success.

Many people suffer from crippling fear that negatively impacts their day-to-day functioning. Since the 1950s, exposure therapy has been prescribed to expose these individuals to their fears in manageable doses until they gain control over their body’s fear response. In some cases, exposure therapy is not possible (e.g., it costs too much or other practical limitations) or not desirable, and imagining exposure can actually bring about many of the same benefits as actual exposure to the threatening stimulus. In essence, a vivid imagination can help people unlearn fear .

After a traumatic experience, it’s easy to get stuck in negativity, ruminating again and again over the painful memory of what happened. Imagination can provide an escape —a way of looking beyond what is to what could be. Imagining new narratives, particularly with the help of a mental health professional, can help a person move away from distress and towards healing. Through imagination, they can recover a sense of personal agency and feel more empowered after a life crisis.  

Evidence shows that our memories are not static recordings of actual events; in fact, they’re proven to change with each retelling. This can either be adaptive, as in the case of personal trauma, or dangerous, as when dealing with law and crime . For example, eyewitness imagination can change memories —most often unconsciously—in the direction of personal beliefs, a fact that should be given more consideration in legal proceedings.

Vasilyev Alexandr/Shutterstock

Children can benefit greatly from a vivid imagination, especially with the support of key adult figures in their lives, such as parents and teachers. Imagination plays a critical role in early development, increasing children’s cognitive, creative, and social skills. Imaginative children can explore their thoughts and feelings more deeply and learn how to solve problems creatively. They can put these lessons to good use as they build friendships and pursue personal goals.

Pretend play or make-believe consists of a few key components. One is object substitution, which can involve either pretending an object is something else (e.g., a banana becomes a telephone) or using an imaginary object. A child may also attribute pretend properties to an object (e.g., making a stuffed animal “talk”). Imaginative play can include social interactions, either with peers or adults. A child may also role-play or act as if they are someone else (like a celebrity), either with or without props. Imaginative play often involves metacommunication, such as discussing who will be playing what role and how the story will go.

There is a great need for pretend play in child development . Fantasy and make-believe can teach children crucial social skills, such as communication, empathy, perspective-taking , and problem-solving. Imaginative playing can encourage curiosity and creativity, often leading to more success in school. Parents can help encourage their child’s imagination by reading to them at bedtime and having regular discussions about topics like nature and social issues.

Many healthy children create imaginary friends that they eventually outgrow. Children that are more fantasy-prone tend to be outgoing , creative, and adept at seeing things from other people’s perspectives. Children may also express their own thoughts and feelings through an imaginary friend, giving their parents greater insight into their inner world. Imaginary friends can teach kids a great deal about the possibilities of fiction that may benefit them as adults.

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IB Diploma Curriculum Guide

Core (compulsory) studies, extended essay.


Course Description

The nature of the extended essay.

In the Diploma Programme, the Extended Essay is the prime example of a piece of work where the student has the opportunity to show knowledge, understanding and enthusiasm about a topic of his or her choice. The Extended Essay is an in-depth study of a focused topic chosen from the list of approved Diploma Programme subjects—normally one of the student’s six chosen subjects for the IB Diploma. It is intended to promote high-level research and writing skills, intellectual discovery and creativity. It provides students with an opportunity to engage in personal research in a topic of their own choice, under the guidance of a supervisor (usually a teacher in the School). This leads to a major piece of formally presented, structured writing, in which ideas and findings are communicated in a reasoned and coherent manner, appropriate to the subject chosen. It is recommended that completion of the written essay is followed by a short, concluding interview, or viva voce, with the supervisor. The Extended Essay is assessed against common criteria, interpreted in ways appropriate to each subject. The Extended Essay which is compulsory for all Diploma Programme students is externally assessed and, in combination with the grade for Theory of Knowledge, contributes up to three points to the total score for the IB Diploma.

The Choice of Topic

The topic of the Extended Essay is the particular area of study within the chosen subject. In choosing a subject, an essential consideration is the personal interest of the candidate. Before a final decision is made about the choice of topic the relevant subject guidelines should be carefully considered. Candidates should aim to choose a topic which is both interesting and challenging to them. The topic chosen should be limited in scope and sufficiently narrow to allow candidates to collect or generate information and/or data for analysis and evaluation. Candidates are not expected to make a contribution to knowledge within a subject. A broad topic is unlikely to result in a successful Extended Essay. A topic which requires no personal research and/or requires an essentially narrative or descriptive approach is not suitable for an Extended Essay. Similarly, although a reliance on secondary sources is sometimes necessary, an Extended Essay which only provides a summary of such sources will not be successful. Writing a precis of a well-documented topic is unlikely to result in a successful Extended Essay.

The IB Learner Profile

The learning involved in researching and writing the Extended Essay is closely aligned with the development of many of the characteristics described in the IB learner profile. Students are, to a large extent, responsible for their own independent learning, through which they acquire and communicate in-depth knowledge and understanding. The research process necessarily involves intellectual risk-taking and extensive reflection; open-mindedness, balance and fairness are key prerequisites for a good Extended Essay.

Relationship To Theory Of Knowledge

Whichever subject is chosen, the Extended Essay shares with the Theory of Knowledge (TOK) course a concern with interpreting and evaluating evidence, and constructing reasoned arguments. Where the two differ is in the emphasis placed on the research process and its formal outcomes. 

The Research Question

When an appropriate topic has been chosen, candidates should narrow the focus of the investigation and formulate a specific research question. For many Extended Essays this will be phrased in the form of a question, but alternatives such as launching the investigation with a hypothesis are acceptable. By frequently referring to this research question, candidates should be able to maintain the purpose and orientation of the investigation. Candidates are encouraged to formulate a challenging research question but to ensure that it can be explored within the constraints of essay length, time and resources available to them.

The Supervisor

The candidate will be assigned a supervisor from the appropriate department. The supervisor has four principal responsibilities: to encourage and support the candidate throughout the research and writing of the Extended Essay; to provide the candidate with advice and guidance in the skills of undertaking research; to ensure that the Extended Essay is the candidate’s own work, to complete the Supervisor’s report. The amount of time spent by the supervisor with each candidate will vary depending on the circumstances, but will usually be between three and five hours in total.

All Extended Essays are externally assessed by examiners appointed by the IB. This maximum score is made up of the total criterion levels available for each essay. The total score obtained on the scale 0 to 36 is used to determine in which of the following bands the extended essay is placed. This band, in conjunction with the band for Theory of Knowledge, determines the number of Diploma points awarded for these two requirements. 

The IB band descriptors are: A   Work of an excellent standard B   Work of a good standard C   Work of a satisfactory standard D   Work of a mediocre standard E   Work of an elementary standard.

Award of Diploma points

The Extended Essay contributes to the overall Diploma score through the award of points in conjunction with Theory of Knowledge. A maximum of three points are awarded according to a student’s combined performance in both the Extended Essay and Theory of Knowledge. Both the Extended Essay and Theory of Knowledge are measured against published assessment criteria. According to the quality of the work, and based on the application of these assessment criteria, a student’s performance in each of the Extended Essay and Theory of Knowledge will fall into one of the five bands described previously. The total number of points awarded is determined by the combination of the performance levels achieved by the student in both the Extended Essay and Theory of Knowledge according to the matrix.

Creativity, Action, Service (CAS)

CAS is a fundamental part of all Diploma students’ programmes. Students are expected to complete a minimum of 9 experiences, 3 in each category each running for at least one month. Evidence and reflections will be recorded for each experience. Creativity is interpreted as imaginatively as possible to cover a wide range of practices. Learning new activities and skills, to include creativity by the individual student.

Action can include participation in expeditions, individual and team sports and physical training. It can also include carrying out creative and service projects as well as training for service.

Service is community or social service. It can be service to individual people, to communities of people or to the local or wider environment.

The programme is designed to provide a challenge to each student in each of the three areas of creativity, action and service; to provide opportunities for service; to complement the academic disciplines of the curriculum and to provide a balance to the demands of scholarship placed upon the student; to challenge and extend the individual by developing a spirit of discovery, self-reliance and responsibility; to encourage the development of the student’s individual skills and interests.

ASSESSMENT A written, critical self-evaluation of personal performance is required from students for each activity. The self-evaluation or ‘reflection’ process encourages the development of critical thinking skills and enhances students’ awareness of their own strengths and weaknesses.

Students consider in their evaluations the extent to which they have developed personally as a result of the CAS experience; the understanding, skills and values acquired through the experience; and how others may have benefited from the activity.

Self-evaluations are reflective rather than descriptive, narrative reports.

The School is required to record and evaluate all CAS work. These records focus on attendance, punctuality and time spent on the activity; evidence of initiative, planning and organisation; the amount of effort and commitment displayed; and a student’s personal achievement and development, taking into account skills and attitudes at the start of the activity.

Students are required to demonstrate a number of Learning Outcomes. As part of this CAS programme students should have: – Increased their awareness of their own strengths and areas for growth – Undertaken new challenges – Planned and initiated activities – Worked collaboratively with others – Showed perseverance and commitment in their activities – Engaged with issues of global importance – Considered the ethical implications of their actions – Developed new skills

Theory of Knowledge (TOK)

It is commonplace to say that the world has experienced a digital revolution and that we are now part of a global information economy. The extent and impact of the changes signalled by such grand phrases vary greatly in different parts of the world, but their implications for knowledge are profound. Reflection on such huge cultural shifts is one part of what the TOK course is about. Its context is a world immeasurably different from that inhabited by “renaissance man”. Knowledge may indeed be said to have exploded: it has not only expanded massively but also become increasingly specialised, or fragmented. At the same time, discoveries in the 20th century (quantum mechanics, chaos theory) have demonstrated that there are things that it is impossible for us to know or predict. The TOK course encourages critical thinking about knowledge itself, to try to help young people make sense of what they encounter. Its core content involves questions like these: What counts as knowledge? How does it grow? What are its limits? Who owns knowledge? What is the value of knowledge? What are the implications of having, or not having, knowledge?

The purpose of the TOK programme is to help students critically reflect on their knowledge and experience. This reflection requires a consideration of the various ways we interpret the world in culturally diverse settings. TOK is not philosophy instead it requires students to become aware of personal and ideological biases to their knowledge and to consider what responsibilities knowledge may place on the knower. The course aims to develop a concern for rigour in formulating knowledge claims, intellectual honesty and links to all subject groups in the IB Programme.

The programme considers real-life knowledge issues as they often arise in part from questions about what we know; however, it is not a series of debates about such issues. By engaging in an inter-cultural analysis of the concepts, arguments and value judgements that we use, the programme leads students to an understanding of the bases of knowledge and experience, to a recognition of subjective and ideological influences and to the development of ways of thinking based on the critical examination of evidence and rational arguments.

The course moves backwards and forwards through these three perspectives and touches on topics such as: – Ways of Knowing: sense perception, language, emotion, intuition, reasoning, memory, faith and imagination – Map like and story-like knowledge – Local and global knowledge – Constrained creativity – Paradigm shifts – Areas of Knowledge: Mathematics, Human Sciences, History, the Arts, Ethics, Natural Sciences, Indigenous Knowledge Systems, Religious Knowledge Systems.

ASSESSMENT External assessment Part 1: Essay on a prescribed title (maximum of 1600 words) (67%) Each student must submit for external assessment an essay on any one of the 6 titles prescribed by the IB for each examination session. Internal assessment Part 2: The presentation (33%) Students must make one or more individual and/or small group presentations to the class during the course. The maximum group size is three. 

TOK and the Extended Essay The performance of a student in both Diploma Programme requirements, Theory of Knowledge and the Extended Essay is determined according to the quality of the work, based on the application of the IB Diploma Programme assessment criteria and A – E grades are given.

The IB band descriptors are: A   Work of an excellent standard B   Work of a good standard C   Work of a satisfactory standard D   Work of a mediocre standard E   Work of an elementary standard

Using the two performance levels and the Diploma points matrix, a maximum of three Diploma points can be awarded for a student’s combined performance as shown in the Matrix. A student who, for example, writes a satisfactory Extended Essay and whose performance in Theory of Knowledge is judged to be good will be awarded 1 point, while a student who writes a mediocre Extended Essay and whose performance in Theory of Knowledge is judged to be excellent will be awarded 2 points. A student who fails to submit a TOK essay, or who fails to make a presentation, will be awarded N for TOK, will score no points, and will not be awarded a Diploma. Performance in either Theory of Knowledge and the Extended Essay of an elementary standard is a failing condition for the award of the Diploma.

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Leo Tolstoy

“Knowledge is limitless. Therefore, there is a minuscule difference between those who know a lot and those who know very little.”

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Knowledge and its Limits

Knowledge and its Limits

Knowledge and its Limits

Wykeham Professor of Logic

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The book develops a conception of epistemology in which the notion of knowledge is explanatorily fundamental. It reverses the traditional programme of trying to analyse knowledge as a combination of truth, belief, and other factors, such as justification. Rather, belief is a state whose successful form is knowledge, and justification is on the basis of knowledge, which is acquainted with evidence. Knowing is as much a mental state as believing, but it is world‐involving because one can know only what is true; the book extends the externalist conception of mind from the contents of mental states to the attitudes to those contents. As with other mental states, one cannot always know whether one is in the state of knowing. It is argued that this is a special case of a much more general phenomenon; no non‐trivial conditions are such that one is always in a position to know that they obtain whenever they in fact do so. This result has disturbing implications for the nature of rationality, because one is not always in a position to know what it is rational to do. Traditional arguments for scepticism fail because they assume that one is always in a position to know what one's evidence is. The speech act of assertion is also governed by a norm of knowledge. A final chapter explores the limits on what can be known that are revealed by the so‐called paradox of knowability.

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example of essay about personal development

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Essays About Personal Growth: Top 5 Examples and 8 Prompts

If you’re writing essays about personal growth, our guide’s article examples and prompts will help stimulate your creative thinking.

Personal growth is looking at ways to improve yourself mentally, socially, spiritually, emotionally or physically. It is a process where we envision a better version of ourselves and strive to realize that ideal self. Personal growth demands the setting of personal goals and ensuring routine progress. The work toward personal development involves a great deal of hard work and discipline as we push our existing skills and strengths to a higher boundary while reducing our underlying weaknesses.  

Read our essay examples and prompts below to help you produce a rich and creative essay about personal growth.

5 Essay Examples About Personal Growth

1. is it really too late to learn new skills by margaret talbot, 2. i’ve completed hundreds of 30-day challenges. here’s what i’ve learned by tara nicholle-nelson, 3. i was a self-help guru. here’s why you shouldn’t listen to people like me by michelle goodman, 4. how to craft a personal development plan that inspires meaningful results by scott jeffrey, 5. personal development and the power of feedback by emily marsh, 10 prompts on essays about personal growth, 1. why is personal growth important, 2. take up a personal growth challenge, 3. your personal growth journey, 4. personal growth among successful people, 5. personal growth for leaders , 6. personal growth at work, 7. best personal growth books, 8. strong motivation for achieving personal growth.

“… [H]e decides to throw himself into acquiring five new skills. (That’s his term, though I started to think of these skills as “accomplishments” in the way that marriageable Jane Austen heroines have them, talents that make a long evening pass more agreeably, that can turn a person into more engaging company, for herself as much as for others.)

Learning new things may not be a cup of tea for those in their middle ages. To get out of established expertise, be looked down on as a novice, and push the brain to work double time may even be a dreary and intimidating process. , But Journalist Tom Vanderbilt, award-winning writers, and Nobel Prize recipients prove that satisfaction is worth it for personal growth and fulfillment. 

“I think of Challenges as self-directed projects to change my behavior or spark some personal growth or development I’m clear that I’d like to have. Sometimes I want a mindset shift or want to make (or break) a habit, or I just have a sort of big project I want to sprint to finish…”

Why are we so drawn to self-imposed challenges? For one, it’s a competition only between you and yourself, giving room for flexibility in the rules you set. It provides structure to your goals, chunks your bigger long-term self-growth goals into gradual and doable daily tasks, provokes a sense of self-accountability, and helps you focus your energy on what matters most. 

“Apparently, I learned, gurus are people too, even gurus lining the self-help shelves of friendly neighborhood bookstores. They aren’t infallible, all-knowing oracles above worrying about their generous muffin top or widening backside. They are businesspeople — businesspeople with books, keynotes, and openings in their consulting practice to peddle”

From abhorring gurus to becoming one and then hating the industry much more — this is the story of a self-help book author who realizes it was herself who needed the most advice for personal growth. But, as she creates a facade of a well-balanced life to establish her credibility, things turn dark, almost costing her life. 

“When entertainment, distraction, and workaholism consume our attention, something doesn’t feel right within us… To have a full and meaningful life requires us to open to more dimensions of ourselves. And a Personal Development Plan can help us do just that.”

Everyone strives for personal growth. But once we jump at it, some wrong ingredients may spoil the sense of fulfillment we expect. The right process involves navigating your potential, creating a larger vision, selecting areas to focus on, setting your schedule, and monitoring your progress. You might also be interested in these essays about motivation .

“Without feedback, we would learn very little about ourselves, in or out of work. The feedback process is like holding a mirror up to yourself; that’s why it can be uncomfortable at times. You have to be prepared to listen to and acknowledge whatever reveals itself.”

Hearing feedback is critical to personal growth. Negative feedback is constructive in losing our bad habits. However, purely positive feedback is non-progressive and dangerous if we only seek to affirm how we regard ourselves.

We can never be perfect. But we can always progress. In your essay, explain why nurturing a growth mindset in life is essential. What long-term benefits can you reap daily from wanting to be a better person? How does it affect the mind, body, and overall wellness? Answer these while citing studies that outline the essence of personal growth.

Essays About Personal Growth: Take up a personal growth challenge

Take up any challenge you find exciting and feel up to. Then, write about your experience. If successful, offer tips to your readers on how one can prepare their body, mind, and discipline to stick to the goals. If you did not complete the challenge, don’t worry! Your failure can still be a learning experience that contributes to personal growth and is worth writing about. In addition, you can add what areas of yourself you would like to improve on if you ever take up the challenge again. 

Talk about your goals and your daily efforts to reach this goal. It could relate to acing a test, your sports team winning or professional success. Of course, there will be a handful of challenges in any journey toward a goal. What were the obstacles and distractions that tried to keep you off track? Share these with your readers and how you strived or are striving to conquer them.

When you see people already at the height of their careers, you’ll find some continuing to walk out of their comfort zones and reach for the next higher mountain. For this essay, explain the connection between striving for personal growth and success. Then, provide a list of everyday habits among successful people that others could consider adopting.

Leaders must adapt and address problems efficiently and decisively as they move through a fast-changing landscape. Elaborate on how the pursuit of personal growth helps leaders deliver in their enormous role in organizations, companies, and communities.

If you firmly believe that growth at work translates to personal growth, it would be less hard for you to get by at work. But this gets a bit more complex if your feel that your work is no longer satisfying your self-actualization needs and even limiting you. For this prompt, help your readers determine if it’s time to quit their job and continue their journey for personal growth elsewhere. If you want to address companies, offer recommendations enabling their employees to grow and have a vision for themselves. You may also suggest how managers can keep an open line of communication so that personnel can relay their self-development needs.

Essays About Personal Growth: Best personal growth books

We all have that book that has given us a new kind of energy that made us feel and believe we can do anything if we put our heart into it. We keep these books close to our hearts, serving as a reminder of other bigger goals ahead of us when the going gets tough. Create a numbered list of the books that have captivated you and helped you realize your potential. Talk about the best quotes that struck the chord and the thought racing in your mind while reading them.

When you tap onto your inherent and external motivation for a much-needed push, it may be easier to turn bad moments into something that helps advance personal development plans. For your essay, explain how motivation can be a bridge to get you to your growth goals.

If you’re still stuck, check out our general resource of essay writing topics .

For help with this topic, read our guide explaining what is persuasive writing ?

example of essay about personal development

Yna Lim is a communications specialist currently focused on policy advocacy. In her eight years of writing, she has been exposed to a variety of topics, including cryptocurrency, web hosting, agriculture, marketing, intellectual property, data privacy and international trade. A former journalist in one of the top business papers in the Philippines, Yna is currently pursuing her master's degree in economics and business.

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Tchiki Davis, Ph.D.

Personal Development: 9 Skills, Tips, and Examples

Why personal development is so important and how to improve yourself..

Posted June 7, 2020 | Reviewed by Gary Drevitch


I am obsessed with personal development because it's helped me completely change my life. Only 10 years ago, I had no connections, no money, and worked a minimum wage retail job. Now, I have a Ph.D. from Berkeley, am the author of a book on how to generate happiness in the technology age , and have created a variety of well-being-boosting programs . And it's all because I worked on developing myself. So how do you make personal development work for you?

Personal development can include any skill that you build to improve yourself—your emotions, thoughts, or behaviors. It doesn't really matter which skills you want to improve; the key to personal development is taking the right steps—steps that help ensure that you reach whatever goal you are pursuing.

Learn more from the video below:

What are the most important personal development skills? It really depends on what you're trying to achieve. But here are 9 that I have found to be important to successful personal development.

1. Start by figuring out which personal development skills you need to build. The first step in any personal development strategy is to figure out how to best use your time. It makes little sense to learn how to code if you don't plan to be a coder or to bench press 400 pounds if you don't plan to be a weight lifter. These can be hobbies, but personal development is more about building skills to reach your personal goals . So it's good to take some time to self-reflect. (If well-being is a goal of yours, take this well-being quiz to see which skills you need to build.)

2. Develop entrepreneurial thinking. Everyone can benefit from learning how to think like an entrepreneur, regardless of whether or not you are one. Why? Because entrepreneurs are innovative, good at planning for all possible outcomes, and skilled at getting others to buy into their vision or dream. And perhaps more importantly for personal development, they tend to be adaptable to all sorts of situations.

By developing entrepreneurial thinking, you better adapt to whatever your circumstances are so you can more easily achieve your goals, whether those goals are to start a business that makes a positive impact in the world , to set yourself up for an early retirement , or climb Mount Everest.

3. Develop a growth mindset . If we have a “fixed mindset,” we may shy away from challenges that could help us grow. But this can be problematic because our fear of making mistakes can lead us to avoid challenges and new experiences—experiences which would help us grow, improve ourselves in important ways, and create the life we desire.

If we have a “ growth mindset ” we seek out challenges because we value learning and growth more than we value feeling smart or knowing what we’re doing. That's why those with a growth mindset often build new skills more easily: They believe they can and so they really work at it.

4. Develop your self-soothing mechanism. High levels of stress are not only bad for our health and well-being, they can prevent us from effectively pursuing and achieving our self-development goals. By learning effective, long-lasting relaxation techniques , your body and mind will be more equipped to handle the inevitable challenges that arise when you're trying to develop yourself.

5. Develop resilience . Resilience is that super-important skill that helps you bounce back quickly after being knocked down. This is one of the most important skills for success because none of us will achieve anything if we don't keep trying when we fail. We can build resilience by improving skills like emotion-regulation , mindfulness , and positivity.

6. Develop your value compass. It's not always easy to live by our core values . But when we go through life without following our personal values, we can easily get lost. We may suddenly "wake up" and realize that we are not who we want to be or where we want to be. This is why it's so important to stay in alignment with our personal values.

What are your values? Perhaps: kindness, curiosity, creativity , hard work, or personal relationships. Define your personal values so you know which actions are in alignment with those values.

7. Create a personal development plan. A good personal development plan takes all these factors into consideration—the WHAT, the HOW, the WHY, and the WHEN. And it focuses on long-term goals . So ask yourself:

example of essay about personal development

  • What skills will you build?
  • How will you build them?
  • Why will you build them?
  • And when will you build them?

It can be helpful to create a 10-year plan to map out how you'll reach these goals.

8. Record your progress towards personal development. Keeping track of our progress as we move toward our personal development goals is key to making sure we're on the right track. Then we can pause and take a different direction if we've gone off course. By maintaining self-awareness and frequently checking in with ourselves, we can identify things that we need to devote more attention to. As a result, we can make better progress toward our personal development.

9. Keep developing yourself in new ways. The science is clear: The more ways we develop ourselves, the broader our skillset, and the more success we tend to have. So try learning some new emotional skills or do some activities to build new skills. You just might learn something that changes your life.

Facebook /LinkedIn images: GaudiLab/Shutterstock

Tchiki Davis, Ph.D.

Tchiki Davis, Ph.D. , is a consultant, writer, and expert on well-being technology.

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Home / Essay Samples / Life / Experience

Personal Growth and Development Essay Examples and Topics

Love yourself: how to define yourself.

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Some Ideas for Your Personal Growth and Development

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Why Personal Growth & Development is Important

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Who Am I'? the Question for My Personal Growth

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The Importance of Focusing on Our Personal Growth Rather than Imperfections

In this world all human during life will come to have different experiences to different situations we will face in our lifetime. “Naomi I hate you! You’re so deliciously thin”. I can identify most with Naomi because we are both sixteen going through different experience…

Life in Human Growth and Development: Events that Changed Your Life

A life event is a change in situation or circumstance, for example, getting married, divorced or become a parent. All life events will effect interpersonal relationships and leisure and work related activities (Medical Dictionary, 2012). Many life events are experiences that can either be expected…

Importance of Respect Between People is a Big Deal for Us

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Questioning Existence: Life Experiences and Influences for Further Development

I often reflect on what it is that makes me who I am, and how that makes me different from everyone else around me. Who am I? As far as anyone could tell, this question is seemingly easy and simple to answer. I would say…

Autobiography Essay: the Story About Myself

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What Do I Need to Possess to Become a Successful Entrepreneur

The risk of running out of finances is called financial risk. To run a business, an entrepreneur should have basic knowledge of the finances needed. Financial decisions are based on how well the owner manages the cash flow and the accuracy on predictions of income,…

Beyond Shyness: Embracing Personal Growth

Introduction Shyness, a common human trait, often manifests as a reluctance to engage in social interactions due to feelings of self-consciousness and apprehension. While shyness is a natural response, it can also hinder personal growth and limit one’s experiences. This essay delves into the challenges…

Principle I Obtained after Becoming a Student

In my life, when I have trouble, I always lose my confidence, motivation and become desperate. Usually, I keep silent and try to escape from my situation. According to Maori proverb, ‘Turn your face to the sun and the shadows fall behind you.’ I have…

My Principles in Life as a Student and How My Life Struggles Affected Me

My name is [REDACTED] and I am a small part of the children who live in this world, if there are children who have a closed personality or commonly referred to as an introvert, then I can practically be included in that category. But I…

Overcoming Weaknesses: Unveiling the Path to Personal Growth

Introduction Every individual possesses strengths and weaknesses, which are inherent aspects of our human nature. While strengths empower us, weaknesses challenge us and provide opportunities for growth. Overcoming weaknesses is a transformative journey that requires self-awareness, determination, and a commitment to personal development. In this…

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Essay on a Personal Development Plan


A personal development plan is one of the most effective tools for students and professionals who want to achieve excellence in their respective fields. It uses the concept of reflection to enable one keep track of the steps he has made towards acquiring skills and knowledge. It enables one to monitor the life changes required to be made and the weak spots required to be improved. The plan provides a gauge for a person to see their progress, and determine the skills to be achieved in the future. It aids in the achievement of personal and professional development goals. This is because success requires planning and goal setting. The goals set in the plan have to be clear and measurable.

Review of the initial PDP

According to my initial PDP, communication and social skills acquisition was the main goal for the semester. I had planned to communicate more with my instructors in the areas of my weaknesses. The utilization of the instructors’ office hours and the taking of extra time to get in touch with them enabled deeper understanding of the concepts taught in class. This was the main change that I had to make. During this semester, I have been able to increase the amount of time spent with instructors on learning after classes and ensured that I went over everything I learned in class. If there was a point or an idea that needed clarification, I have left it to myself to talk to the teacher in order to understand the concept before the next class.

Interpersonal skills

Social development was also a significant part of my PDP. I discovered that I lacked soft skills in relation to other people. The importance of these skills in the workplace is significant, and I required developing them in order to avoid the skill mismatch in the workplace (Zenger and Folkman, 2009, p. 137). The improvement of interaction with other people was one of the main goals of my PDP. During this semester, I have changed how I related to people by leaving more time for the interaction with them. I was able to achieve this by seeking an elective post as a representative in one of the professional clubs at the school. Acquiring this leadership position was important for my development of leadership skills. The acquisition of this post has also helped me develop communication skills since I had to communicate the needs and issues of the club members to the club leaders. It has also made me a good listener and a more focused person due to having other responsibilities besides schoolwork.

Extra-curricular activities

I also intended to improve my social interactions inside and outside the campus. One effective way that I chose to achieve this goal was getting involved in extra-curricular activities. Choosing a sport or a club was not easy because I am not too athletic. However, I knew the importance of this and thus decided to join the badminton team and have become an active and competent badminton player over time. Having an extra-curricular activity and a social group outside of classroom has enabled me to deal with stress more effectively. It has also allowed me to relax actively and to live a more productive life. Joining the badminton team has proved to be helpful and beneficial in many ways.

Time management

On the issue of time management, I planned a weekly schedule of the things I would be doing every week in order to make sure that I was not falling behind on time. The weekly schedules have been effective but I have had problems achieving some of the overall goals set for the semester. The time schedule has been a difficult one to follow due to overcrowding and poor execution. Some of the milestones that had to be achieved by the end of the semester such as reading inspirational books have not been completed. The schedule made for the reading of inspirational literature has been too overcrowded, and I have only achieved half of what I had planned. According to Zenger and Folkman (2009), inspirational literature is very important for motivation (p. 24). My inability to finish the reading plan is bothering and discouraging. This highlights a time management problem that I have to take into account in the next personal development plan .

A reflection on my performance

My academic performance during the semester has been at par with other semesters. There has not been any considerable difference in my performance, which is not satisfactory. I intended to improve my GPA performance every semester in order to graduate with honors. Therefore, more needs to be done and dedicating more time to studying is necessary. According to my PDP, I required to achieve an average of 70% in all the tests and assignments before the end of the semester. The more time spent consulting the lecturers and instructors has only had a marginal effect on my performance. This implies that more time should be spent on doing so in order to achieve the desired results. One of my instructors said that what I needed was more practice as opposed to theory. Changes in the amount of practice required have not been implemented effectively since the results have not been satisfactory.

Gaining hands-on experience in the field has been an important factor and determinant of success. I intended to work part time during my free time to gain experience and practice in the field to aid the theory learned in class. This step has only been partially achieved because I could not secure employment in my field of specialization. The job I acquired was in car sales, which is not what I consider perfect for the practicing of the skills learned in my course of study. I actually spent more time than the experience I gained was worth. Yet in my next PDP I will surely include more time for finding suitable work to ensure that experience is gained in the perfect field and the perfect job.

Overall, I have learned that I have potential I have not been using. Previously, I could not find time to engage in other activities besides class work, yet I did not perform exceptionally well. I have discovered that I can live a more holistic life without compromising the time spent on studies. Planning has enabled me to visualize what needs to be achieved and decide how to achieve it. I learned that my poor performance in school has been the result of little or no practice. It has also shown me that personal skills are important, and they are not as difficult to learn as I thought earlier.

PDP for the next four semesters

My current performance level is average and needs to be improved by the end of the semester to ensure that I graduate with honors. Therefore, more time will have to be spent on activities that improve the amount of knowledge gained during class time and outside of class. Practice is also required; therefore, the time spent practicing the learned skills will have to be increased over the next four semesters. My academic performance is the most important aspect of my studies, thus more time will be dedicated to it alongside the inclusion of other activities such as sports. I will keep a record of the activities that I am involved in concerning work experience, personal character development, and other life experiences. The main aim of the plan will be to achieve the knowledge and skills that will match the market requirements (Fry, 2009, p. 120).

Personal development

The plan will also integrate academic development with personal development. Personal learning activities such as spending more time in the library conducting research on some important aspects of my professional field will also be considered. This means that I will require dedicating more time to find work that is in line with my field. This learning experience will be aimed at learning from other people and encompassing the learned ideas and methods into my skill set (Niven, 2006, p. 295). Developmental changes are necessary to ensure improvements in the overall well-being of my career prospects. I will undertake more involvement in social activities and situations to develop confidence. The goal is to attend at least one social event every two weeks. In addition, acquisition of leadership and interpersonal skills will be given proper attention since these skills are what the professional world requires.

Learning habits

Establishment of learning habits will become a major part of the plan since life is all about continuous learning (Fry, 2009, p. 124). Motivational literature will form a significant part of my learning culture and habits. I will improve my time management skills to ensure that I read two or more motivational books every month. In order to improve my employment prospects and recognize the weak points I need to work on, I will ask one teacher to become my mentor. I will then make sure that I meet with the teacher at least once a semester. During these meetings with the teacher, I will ask for feedback on my career prospects in the field and the type of skills I need to work on. I will also ensure that the teacher gets a chance to criticize my efforts and improvements, and suggest areas for improvement.

Financial independence

Another important aspect of life that has to be included in the development plan is the achievement of financial goals. This is one of my main weaknesses and it was not included in the previous PDP. The goal is to achieve financial freedom and independence by the end of the four semesters. This will be achieved by ensuring that I obtain the habit of saving money. I will save half of the money that I earn during holidays. Doing so I aim to save at least $ 5,000 every year. These savings will be used to cover living expenses upon completion of my course of study until I get a permanent job. This goal will be achieved by ensuring that I change my spending habits to only spend on the necessary things. Avoidance of unnecessary and non-value adding activities will be the main weapon against excessive expenditures.

The personal development plan is very important in enabling the tracking of developmental changes that are necessary for the achievement of set goals. Planning is very important since it provides a medium for a person to set goals and decide how they will have to be achieved.

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Personal Development: Description and Theory Application


Human development is one of the most fascinating and at the same time most complicated fields of study in psychology. Being influenced by a myriad of factors, which range from genetic ones to the influences specific to a certain area where an individual grows, personal development requires closer scrutiny as a path to understanding individual needs and possible developmental issues. By considering the details that might seem insignificant at first glance, one may be able to infer critical information about the said individual, as well as his or her emotional, psychological, and social needs. Considering my personal development as an example will help to shed light on the significance of family attachment, the influence of family members, and the importance of having a role model while growing up in order to gain a set of values and skills that will guide one throughout the rest of one’s life.

This paper will offer a brief observation of my personal history with the following application of developmental theories by Freud, Erikson, and Piaget, as well as the nature-vs.-nurture perspective and the concept of Bowlby’s attachment. The described theories will help to frame the process of my development in a way that will outline different biological and sociocultural influences that have shaped my identity. Thus, crucial conclusions about the further course of my development and the opportunities that I currently have for personal growth will be made. Moreover, my example of personal development will help to illustrate the applicability of the theories mentioned above and determine their strengths and weaknesses. As a result, key directions in which the further study of individual development and developmental analysis, in general, should be headed, will be defined.

Life Journey: Description

Prenatal and infancy.

Gathering information about my prenatal development and infancy was, perhaps, the hardest part of this assignment since any traces of what could serve as a credible source for this data have mostly faded away by now. However, from the stories that were told in my family about the specified part of my life, I can gather that my parents were infinitely happy to have me as their child. Being the third and the youngest of the children, I was anything but a problem child since my parents already had a plethora of experiences. According to what my parents told me, I was healthy and developed at a regular rate.

Early Childhood

My early childhood memories are also mostly positive since my parents were very supportive and caring. However, since my parents were struggling financially and were attempting at reviving their opportunities for education and career development, I was mostly left to myself with regard to my cognitive development and the acquisition of relevant skills. As a result, I was not provided with multiple opportunities for early childhood literacy development. Nonetheless, I must mention the efforts that my parents put into ensuring that I was taken proper care of and provided with enough social interaction since they asked my grandparents to help them with my upbringing while they were away. Nevertheless, despite my parents’ efforts, the family fell apart, with my father taking my siblings with him and moving to Alabama, and me staying with my now-single mother and very few prospects for financial sustainability.

Middle Childhood

Due to the financial struggles and the emotional distress that my parents’ divorce caused, I started feeling alienated from the rest of the students at my school. The fact that my family became expressively poor did not help, either since it created an even greater gap between my peers and me, adding a layer of social class differences to the differences in our experiences. The situation was aggravated by the blatant racism that was rampant within my community at the time. As a result, my middle childhood was marked mostly by the attempts at escaping from the stressful settings of my home and school. As a result of poor attendance, my grades dropped significantly, and I nearly failed the fifth grade. However, at the point when I reached adolescence, I realized that I did not have to blame myself for my parent’s divorce and that coming from a low-income family did not devalue me as a person, or as a learner.


As a result of the change in perspective mentioned above, I spent most of my adolescence making up for the lost opportunities in studying and communication. Having recognized that my mother cared for me and that I had healthy family relationships, I started changing my attitude toward the alterations in my social and personal life. Gradually, I accepted the change and improved my academic score, gaining enough opportunities for further studies. Moreover, with the support of my mother and grandmother, I found the strength to oppose the racism and prejudices that I faced within my community.

Emerging Adulthood

Having graduated in 1987, I felt quite uncertain about my future. While my academic score improved tremendously after I had changed my attitude toward studying, I had very few chances of going to college, which was why the Army was the next best choice that I had. After enlisting, I gained a range of new abilities, including discipline and crucial leadership skills. After serving in the military, I returned to my academic life to study at college. However, my mother’s untimely death and the subsequent death of my older sister, Dawn, at the age of 45, disrupted my life tremendously, causing me to abandon learning for a while.

Although I loved my mother and sister dearly, I realized that their life choices, particularly, the misuse of drugs and the unwillingness to introduce change to their environment, were the main causes of their deaths. Therefore, even having a loving memory of both of them, I decided to make appropriate changes to my own life and avoid falling into the same trap as they did. Consequently, I focused on studying and returned to college to continue my education. Moreover, I found solace in the Christian faith, which also has been helping me from straying away and succumbing to harmful lifestyles. Having graduated, I applied for the position of caseworker for a child welfare organization. Moreover, I managed to find love and create my own family. Now, 25 years later, I am a happy mother and a wife. Both my husband and I support each other and our children extensively and strive to remain a happy and healthy family.

Theory Application

Freud’s psychosexual stages of development.

To dissect my early childhood development, several crucial theories will be required. First, the use of the Freudian analysis will be vital in order to understand the significance of the events that transpired at the earliest stages of my life. According to the theory of psychoanalysis created by Sigmund Freud, a child undergoes five critical stages of development when gaining agency. Specifically, the phases of oral, anal, phallic, latent, and genital development need to be mentioned as the crucial milestones in the psychosexual development of a child. In retrospect, I appear to have passed each of the specified developmental stages successfully, apart from the phallic one. Namely, the absence of a father figure at a pivotal moment in my childhood development due to my parents’ divorce defined the absence of a strong father figure in my life. According to Freud’s theory of psychosocial development, the specified gap in my psychosocial development is supposed to signify the lack of family attachment and further difficulties in building relationships with men. However, the specified assumption is quite far from the trust since I had a plethora of guidance and support from my mother and grandmother. Moreover, there seem to be no complications in my current relationship with my husband.

Erikson’s Stages of Psychosocial Development

A similar result can be obtained when applying Erikson’s theory of psychosocial development to the life journey that I have experienced so far. Erikson’s theory posits that an individual typically undergoes eight stages of development throughout his or her life, and failing to complete at least one stage results in underdevelopment. Therefore, the specified theory leads to the same implications of me missing out on communication with my father leading to the development of possible issues later in life. Specifically, Erikson’s theory suggests that an individual must undergo the following life stages: Trust vs. Mistrust, Autonomy vs. Shame/Doubt, Initiative vs. Guilt, Identity vs. Role Confusion, Intimacy vs. Isolation, Generativity vs. Stagnation, and Integrity vs. Despair (Broderick & Blewitt, 2015). As the specified stages are passed, the following qualities are expected to emerge: hope, will, purpose, competency, fidelity, love, care, and wisdom (Broderick & Blewitt, 2015). Condensing Erikson’s theory to basics, one should infer that the specified framework emphasizes the significance of social development in an individual’s life as the foundation for future progress.

As seen in my case, failing to complete at least one of the stages of Erikson’s framework, indeed, leads to rather significant complications. Specifically, I failed to experience the Industry v. Inferiority stage, during which competency is developed since I had been defaulting on my academic responsibilities at the time due to the poor family environment. As a result, the failure to build basic competency in learning affected my life to a noticeable extent. However, unlike Erikson’s theory predicted, the failure in managing the specified stage of my life did not lead to the destruction of the rest of it. Instead, it slowed the progress down slightly, yet the further insight into my needs has helped to course-correct my further academic and professional development without leaving significant obstacles in my education or career.

Moreover, I managed to pass the next two stages, specifically, Identity vs. Confusion (Fidelity) and Intimacy vs. Isolation (love) successfully, building resilience and gaining the necessary qualities. Approaching the Intimacy vs. Isolation stage, I am certain in my ability to develop love as the crucial virtue that will help me to continue building strong relationships with my children and my husband.

Piaget’s Four Stages of Development

Since Piaget’s developmental theory seeks to explore the development of thinking and thought processes, it would be reasonable to focus on my analytical and critical thinking abilities specifically when applying Piaget’s stages of a development framework to the assessment of my progress. According to Jean Piaget, an individual undergoes four crucial phases during early childhood and infancy. These include the sensorimotor, preoperational, concrete operational, and formal operational stages (McLeod, 2018). Although my childhood abandonment issues were expected to play a major role in the acquisition of language skills, imagination, and intuitive intelligence at the preoperational stage, the specified effect did not occur. Supposedly, the described deviation from Piaget’s theoretical perspective occurred due to the involvement of my grandmother and the support that she provided in teaching me key skills. Similarly, despite major hindrances and challenges, the transition to the formal operational stage occurred quite naturally in me. Namely, the difficulties that I experienced at school concerned not the gaps in early childhood education or the absence of skills, but the presence of emotional distress. Therefore, the applicability of Piaget’s four stages of development to my life journey could be seen as possible.

Bowlby’s Attachment

The theory of Bowlby’s attachment suggests that a child needs to have a close bond with at least one significant adult, preferably, their parent, for successful development. As a child, I had both of my parents as role models up until their divorce, which helped me to accept the crucial values and shape my behavior in a way that allows for effective interactions (Shiller, 2017). Therefore, for the most part, Bowlby’s theory aligns with my experiences.

Nature vs. Nurture

The dichotomy of nature versus nurture implies a collision of two perceptions of development, namely, the biological and social ones. Specifically, the nature-related argument posits that biological factors predetermine the course of an individual’s development, whereas the nurture-driven one argues that the social environment has a greater impact. In my cause, no significant biological deviations from the norm have been observed, which is why nature has played little to no effect in my psychoemotional and psychosocial development. In turn, nurture has had a tremendous impact on my progress. Specifically, the issues of attachment in early childhood and challenges of failed social interactions during adolescence, as described above, have produced a significant effect on my development. Moreover, the influence of my grandmother as a crucial social factor has contributed to my development extensively.

Explanatory Power of the Theory

As the application of the theoretical frameworks provided above has indicated, some of the theories did not work as well as they were expected to when evaluating my personal development. The Freudian theory has proven to fail particularly strongly due to the obvious mismatch in the expectations that it sets for the absence of a father figure in my early childhood. Specifically, the contrasting evidence of my successful interactions with men and the sense of closure in my childhood development due to the efforts and support of my mother and grandmother proves the Freudian theory wrong (Sanford, 2017). Nonetheless, my experience does not invalidate the role of psychoanalysis in the promotion of the understanding of the psychosocial development of an individual. Instead, it points to the need to update the theory to include the factors that may shape a child’s psychosocial development differently.

Theory Critique

As the overview of my life and the development that I experienced throughout it has shown, the applicability of some of the theories to explain the challenges experienced in personal development is quite questionable. While most of the theoretical perspectives offered a decent explanation of the changes and challenges that I faced, most of them failed to encompass the uniqueness of these experiences and help to predict the further development of the situation. For instance, the Freudian analysis proved insufficient since the absence of a father figure in my early childhood did not prevent me from building the agency and self-sufficiency needed to enter adulthood and build a happy and independent life.

Specifically, the Freudian theory, specifically, the attempt at dissecting my childhood by splitting my early development into psychosexual stages did not produce a significant effect since my abandonment issues have not led to any tangibly negative outcomes (Sanford, 2017). Although one could claim that my adolescence was a bit tumultuous, the observed issues should be attributed to the changes in the socioeconomic status of my family and the failure to integrate into the academic environment successfully.

Remarkably, the framework offered by Piaget mostly aligned with the changes that I have experienced and observed in myself throughout my personal development. Although I had to rely on the stories that my mother told me about my early childhood when assessing the specified part of my life, the rest of my life journey aligned with Piaget’s framework quite well. It appears that the theoretical approaches examining biological changes in an individual as opposed to the alterations defined by social interactions offer a more accurate representation of an individual’s life journey (Fleer, 2018). The specified observation can be explained by the uniqueness of the social experiences of every individual and the inability to introduce a uniform framework that could explain each experience specifically.

Overall, the application of theories to the analysis of my personal development has helped to understand how the transfer from theory to practice occurs in developmental psychology studies. Moreover, the analysis conducted above has facilitated a better understanding of how developmental issues can be addressed. Moreover, the dissection of my life journey and the developmental stages that I have passed has allowed outlining the connection between gaps in psychosocial, psychosexual, and other types of development, and the social, emotional, and psychological challenges that an individual may encounter later in life.

The example of my personal development is viewed from the tenets of the theories by Freud, Erikson, and Piaget, as well as the nature-vs.-nurture argument and Bowlby’s attachment concept, have indicated the crucial role of family relationships in the subject matter. Namely, apart from early childhood development, in which family support is vital for gaining critical skills, the presence of guidance from family members during adolescence and even early adulthood is paramount to the psychological, emotional, and social well-being of an individual. Despite the challenges that I have faced throughout my life journey so far, I have managed to find the inner strength to fight for my happiness due to the extensive support of my family. Moreover, the guidance that I received from my parents at the earliest stages of my childhood development has defined my ability to learn, be proactive, and have a strong sense of self-identity, agency, and independence.

Moreover, the application of the theories listed above has shown that the key theoretical tenets do not necessarily align with specific time periods directly. Instead, theories of development serve the purpose of explaining the issues that one might be experiencing at a specific stage of their development. Rather, as my personal case has indicated, the absence of expected observations characteristic of a certain time period in an individual’s life journey may be indicative of a developmental problem and point to the presence of an unusual factor that may impede the introduction of a certain phase of personal progress into an individual’s life. Moreover, in some cases, the absence of alignment with specific theoretical premises does not necessarily indicate the failure to reach a certain developmental stage but, instead, shows the need for a particularly profound and detailed analysis.

Broderick, P.C. & Blewitt, P (2015). The life span of human development for helping profession (4th ed.). Pearson Education Inc.

Fleer, M. (2018). Child development in educational settings . Cambridge University Press.

McLeod, S. (2018). Erik Erikson’s Stages of psychosocial development. Simply Psychology

Sanford, N. (2017). Self and society: Social change and individual development . Transaction Publishers.

Shiller, V. M. (2017). The attachment bond: Affectional Ties across the lifespan . Lexington Books.

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Personal Development Planning

Updated 04 September 2023

Subject Learning ,  Goals

Downloads 42

Category Education ,  Life

There has been an increase in the need for students in different institutions of higher learning to engage in Personal Development Planning. Ideally, PDP encompasses an evaluated procedure conducted by individuals to reflect on their performance, learning, and successes. The students, need to review their skills and development needs, conduct self-reviews to understand the alternative personal development actions, select the best action and evaluate the outcomes against the set objectives. The benefits of PDP may include increased self-awareness, improved resilience, enhanced motivation and improved effectiveness and focus. Going by a primary research conducted on 10% of students at the university (n=7) in this report, it was discovered that a majority (71%) of the students understand and appreciate the benefits of PDP, conduct frequent reviews to compare their progress with the set objectives and plan effectively for their PDP processes. However, only 29% acknowledged that they did not appreciate the benefits of PDP. Going by these findings, it is possible for me to improve my PDP process by engaging positively with my mentor, conducting a proper personal evaluation and participating in regular personal progress reviews.

In most learning institutions, students are always prompted by their tutors to prepare their development plans. PDP may be defined as a supported and well-structured process conducted by individuals as a way of reflecting on their performance, successes and learning, and to develop plans for their individual, career and educational developments (Nixon, 2013, p. 204).  However, there is a need for the learning institutions to provide the necessary support and structure for the students to prepare appropriate personal development plans. In this report, I have presented a review of the needs and benefits of PDP, an analysis of primary research on personal development planning among students and recommendations on how I could improve my PDP.

The need for PDP

To better understand the need for PDP, it is vital to appreciate the PDP cycle. Personal development planning is a cyclical process that entails personal review, preparation for action, conducting the actual action and analyzing the outcomes of the action taken (Nixon, 2013, p. 210). Self-review enables people to understand their current positions and their learning needs for the future. Besides, preparation for action allows individuals to identify the appropriate steps to undertake to meet the learning needs while the action process encompasses conducting a stream of learning involvements. The last aspect is the outcome which presents the benefits of the action taken to the individual and others. From this model, it can be concluded that students may need PDP to evaluate their current positions and learning needs, assess the best actions to fulfill their learning requirements and analyze the benefits that accrue to them as a result of their learning activities.

Figure I the PDP Cycle

Benefits of PDP

Improved Self-awareness

PDP enables students to gain self-awareness. Through PDP, students can identify their strengths and weaknesses (Cottrell, 2015, p. 2). Furthermore, the students may get to understand themselves, their beliefs, values and the purposes they wish to execute. Cottrell (2015, p. 3), insist that true fulfillment cannot be attained by chasing other people's ambitions, but rather by pursuing personal goals. Students who conduct PDP can identify their weaknesses and learning needs and device appropriate learning schedules to improve on such weaknesses.

Improved Effectiveness and Focus

PDP enables students to make clear goals relating to their personal, educational and career development. Honestly, even with a precise sense of direction, there will always exist a pool of tasks looking for a student’s attention. However, with a proper PDP, a student can prioritize different tasks and learning objectives (Greenan, 2016, p. 323).  Improved focus and effectiveness may be achieved by students through understanding and playing to their strengths.

Enhanced Motivation

PDP gives individuals the drive they require to succeed. A proper PDP highlights what a person aims to achieve at what particular time (Greenan, 2016, p. 325). When students view personal development as a continuous process, they can establish clear goals and develop a commitment to them, however, challenging they may seem. Besides, individuals who conduct PDP can appreciate the benefits of indulging in different activities. Also, PDP enables people to view goals as daily actions which must be undertaken to enjoy specific benefits in the end.

Enhanced Resilience

Students may experience difficulties in their learning activities, especially in higher education institutions. During such tough times, students need to have the right attributes and skills to effectively conduct specific activities (Janssen et al., 2013, p. 263). PDP does not prevent bad things from occurring but instead gives individuals the right confidence, personal and interpersonal skills and the resilience required to cope with any eventuality in life.

Theories that Underpin PDP

The above benefits of PDP can be used to evaluate some theories that underpin personal development and self-reflection. Some of these theories include David Kolb, Peter Honey and Alan Mumford’s Learning Styles and Dewey (Vinales, 2015, p. 454). Honey and Mumford in their theory explained that individuals learn in different ways. They grouped learners into activists, theorists, pragmatists, and reflectors.

Honey and Mumford’s model is closely associated with PDP as it concentrates on individuals and how they can establish their skills by knowing how they can learn in the best way. Knowing the best way to learn is essential in PDP as it enables individuals to plan and reflect upon themselves to understand whether they are theorists, reflectors, pragmatists or activists (Vinales, 2015, p. 455). Therefore, students should conduct their self-reflection to understand the types of learners they are and develop an appropriate development plan.

An Analysis of the Primary Research findings.


In this report, quantitative research was conducted to analyze these perspectives on 10% of the class members (n=7). The purposive sampling technique was used, and the methodology for selecting the participants was random (Palinkas et al., 2015, p. 534). Furthermore, semi-structured questionnaires were used to ensure a proper exploration of the students’ feelings and opinions (Bryman, 2017, p. 59). The original questions were established in advance and given to the students in paper format, to ensure that the students were asked the same topics. After that, each student responses were analyzed individually. In the discussion section, the participants' opinions have been labeled R1- R7. The names of the respondents were concealed for confidentiality purposes, and the research was based on volunteerism and informed consent.

Discussion of Findings

The results from the study revealed that five students (71%), ranked their PDP process as effective. "I conduct my development planning at the beginning of every semester, and I view this as very effective as it enables me to constantly compare my progress with the set goals," (R1). "I prepare my development plan at the beginning of the semester with the help of my tutor, and I view this as very effective," (R3). Most of the respondents who viewed their PDP process as effective cited preparing their plans at the beginning of their sessions (Patton et al., 2016, p. 15). However, one student (14%), stated that her development planning process was poor as she was constantly prompted to revise it every time she noted that the goals were unachievable, "in the middle of my learning process, I realize that most of my goals are unachievable and therefore I lose hope and feel like amending them," (R2). Furthermore, one student could not rank his PDP process, "I cannot rank my PDP process because after preparing it, I fail to follow it and examine my progress against the set goals," (R5).

The second section of the questionnaire evaluated how frequently the students reviewed their progress alongside their goals. Two students explained that they waited for their tutors to help them in reviewing their performance against the set objectives (28%), while three students noted that they regularly reviewed their performance alone (42%). "I regularly review my performance against the set objectives alone, and this enables me to be more motivated and resilient" (R7). However, one student recorded that he rarely reviewed his performance against the set objectives as his mentor was sometimes too busy to assist him (14%). Ideally, mentors should be available to assist the students in conducting their performance reviews (Chester et al., 2013, p. 32) “My mentor is sometimes too busy to assist me in reviewing my performance” (R4).

The last section related to how well the students understood the benefits of PDP. Four students highlighted that they were aware of the benefits of PDP (71%), while two students complained that PDP was a painful process that exposed them to a lot of time wastage and therefore, they saw no benefits of engaging in PDP (29%). The negative opinions could be as a result of inadequate training of the students on the benefits of PDP (Greenan, 2016, p. 265).  R1 and R2 gave similar choices regarding the benefits of PDP. They explained that it enabled them to optimize on their strengths, understand their weaknesses, improve resilience, gain self-motivation and change their goals if they seemed inaccurate.

Conclusion and Recommendations

The personal developing planning process is complicated and requires an understanding of the traits of an effective personal development plan to conduct. Going by the results from the above analysis, I can improve my PDP process in three ways. First, before engaging in the planning process, I should consult with my mentor to give me the necessary information and help me to obtain my PDP workbook. Ideally, mentors are people who act as guides to their juniors in handling different procedures (Hudson, 2013, p. 772). Therefore, the services of a mentor will help me in understanding the processes, benefits and the steps of undertaking a proper PDP.

Second, I should conduct a proper personal evaluation. This will enable me to understand my strengths and weaknesses. I can do this by using a competency framework or by using feedback from my mentor and other students. Hudson (2013, p. 774), explains that self-evaluation is the first step to self-discovery, which enables people to gain a clear understanding of their abilities and learning needs.

Finally, I should conduct regular reviews to compare my performance with the set objectives. At the beginning of the planning process, students usually have a set of goals that they aim to achieve. These goals should be compared with the actual performance in the course of the learning process (Nixon, 2013, p. 215). I will, therefore, conduct reviews with the help of my mentor every 3-4 months so that I get to understand the performance of my PDP.

Bryman, A., 2017. Quantitative and qualitative research: further reflections on their integration. In Mixing Methods: Qualitative and Quantitative Research, pp. 57-78.

Chester, A., Burton, L.J., Xenos, S. and Elgar, K., 2013. Peer mentoring: Supporting successful transition for first-year undergraduate psychology students. Australian Journal of Psychology, 65(1), pp.30-37.

Cottrell, S., 2015. Skills for success: Personal development and employability. Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 1-391

Greenan, P., 2016. Personal development plans: insights from a case-based approach. Journal of Workplace Learning, 28(5), pp.322-334.

Hudson, P., 2013. Mentoring as professional development: ‘growth for both” mentor and mentee. Professional Development in Education, 39(5), pp.771-783.

Janssen, S., Kreijns, K., Bastiaens, T.J., Stijnen, S. and Vermeulen, M., 2013. Teachers' beliefs about using a professional development plan. International Journal of Training and Development, 17(4), pp.260-278.

Nixon, S., 2013. Personal development planning: an evaluation of student perceptions. Practice and Evidence of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, 8(3), pp.203-216.

Palinkas, L.A., Horwitz, S.M., Green, C.A., Wisdom, J.P., Duan, N. and Hoagwood, K., 2015. Purposeful sampling for qualitative data collection and analysis in mixed method implementation research. Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research, 42(5), pp.533-544.

Patton, L.D., Renn, K.A., Guido, F.M. and Quaye, S.J., 2016. Student development in college: Theory, research, and practice. John Wiley " Sons, pp. 1-300

Vinales, J.J., 2015. The learning environment and learning styles: a guide for mentors. British Journal of Nursing, 24(8), pp.454-457.

Appendix I: Structured Approach to the Report

Executive summary.

The report has been started with an executive summary, which was written as the last information after developing the report to give a summary of all the significant ideas discussed.

The second part is the introduction. In this section, a brief description of the ideas in question has been presented. The introduction also contains the definition of PDP and a thesis statement and acts as the stepping stone to all other parts in the report.

The body of the report.

After the introduction, there are major issues that have been discussed in the body of the report and separated using headings and subheadings. Such ideas have been highlighted as follows:

The need for PDP.

The need for PDP forms the first idea discussed in the Report. It has been discovered individuals need to conduct PDP to enable them to identify their strengths and learning needs. The strengths and learning needs can be determined by performing a self-review.

The benefits of PDP.

The report has discussed four primary benefits of PDP using different subheadings. The four benefits include improved motivation, increased focus and effectiveness, enhanced self-awareness and improved resilience.

The analysis of primary research findings.

The second section of this report entails an analysis of the primary research findings. Qualitative research was conducted using semi-structured questionnaires. From the research, it was discovered that 70% of the students understood the benefits of PDP frequently reviewed their progress against set goals and viewed it as effective. The results have been discussed in detail in the report.

Conclusion and Recommendation

At this stage, I have presented three recommendations on how I may improve my development planning process. I have based my recommendations on the outcomes from the analysis of the primary research findings. The recommendations entail engaging positively with my mentor, conducting a proper personal evaluation and participating in regular personal progress reviews.

Appendix II: Details of the primary and secondary research undertaken.

Secondary research.

To fulfill the requirements of the research, reviews of different secondary literature including peer-reviewed journal articles and books were used. All the secondary sources used have been appropriately cited in Harvard style. Furthermore, a reference list has been provided to outline all the secondary materials used.

Primary Research.

To accomplish the primary research study, the qualitative research method was used to derive the opinions and views of different participants concerning the topic of study. Furthermore, a random sampling technique was used to ensure the objectivity of the research. The sampling criteria were purposive to ensure that only individuals in the university who met the study criteria were selected. The sample population consisted of 10% of all the class members (n=7). The participants were notified that participation in the study was solely dependent on confidentiality, informed consent, and volunteerism. The participants were then given semi-structured questionnaires in paper form to fill. The following is the sample questionnaire that was given to the participants.


This questionnaire has been developed to collect data on student views concerning their participation in Personal Development Planning.  You will be asked to give comments on three aspects, how effectively you do plan for your personal development, how frequently you review your performance progress alongside your objectives and your understanding of the benefits of PDP. Your participation is solely on a volunteer basis, and your information will be kept confidential.

Please answer all the questions.  This questionnaire is anonymous.

Study Program:

Year of study:

Section 1: The Personal Development Planning Process

How can you rank your development planning process? (Circle the most appropriate)

Effective         Good   Fair     Poor    I cannot rank

Please explain your reasons for your choice above:

Section 2: personal development progress review

How frequently d you compare your development progress with the set personal goals? (Circle as appropriate)

Regularly        Sometimes      Rarely Not at all

Please explain your answer above

Section 3: Benefits of PDP

The need benefits of participating in PDP were clearly explained from the start? (Please circle as appropriate)

Agree strongly.                       Somewhat agree.        Somewhat disagree.            Strongly disagree.

The PDP process has contributed significantly to my learning and development because it:  (please circle your best answer; 4- if you strongly agree, 1- if you strongly disagree, 3- if you agree and 2- if you disagree).

Relates to the learning objectives of my field of study    4          3          2          1

Encourages focus and peer support                                              4          3          2      1

Asks me to plan for my personal learning                                   4          3          2      1

Enhances a continuous tutor feedback                                         4          3          2      1

Links primary skills to my performance                                      4          3          2      1

Develops my portfolio as a collection of my strengths                4          3          2      1

Enables me to realize how best I can learn                                  4          3          2      1

Finally, to what extent has your involvement in PDP helped you to:

Identify your experiences skills and capabilities             1          2          3          4

Analyse your weaknesses and strengths                          1          2          3          4

Optimally utilize your strengths                                       1          2          3          4

Improve your study and learning habits                           1          2          3          4

Gain a proper self-understanding                                     1          2          3          4

Learn from the outcomes and form conclusions              1          2          3          4

Change your  goals if they are not accurate                     1          2          3          4

Monitor " review your development progress                1          2          3          4

Operate and think strategically and independently          1          2          3          4

Gain a self-motivation to execute personal objectives    1          2          3          4

Improve your resilience                                                   1          2          3          4

Please explain your remarks on one or more of the choices above


The above questionnaire was structured into three sections to reflect the objectives of the study which encompassed how effectively the students planned for their personal development, how frequently they reviewed their progress against set targets and how relevant they were, concerning the benefits of PDP. The results of the study demonstrated that 71% of the students were aware of the benefits of PDP, viewed it as effective and conducted regular reviews. On the other hand, only 29% confirmed that they did not appreciate the benefits of performing PDP, with one student acknowledging that his mentor was too busy to assist him in conducting progress reviews.

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Home — Essay Samples — Life — Personal Growth and Development — Achieving Personal and Professional Development


Achieving Personal and Professional Development

  • Categories: Personal Development Planning Personal Growth and Development Personality

About this sample


Words: 1650 |

Published: Jun 6, 2019

Words: 1650 | Pages: 4 | 9 min read

  • Understand people’s opinions – need to understand people’s opinions or understand the problems of the organization’s people.
  • Identify the problem – identify the problem or issue. The identification of a problem is the discovery of a problem or problem and the cause.
  • Provide a solution – a solution must be provided to eliminate the problem.
  • List the solution – the solution to the problem should be listed. Attention should be paid to possible problem remedies.
  • Detection Solutions – Properly review and evaluate the listed solutions to find the most effective and effective solution.
  • Choose a solution – you must choose the most appropriate and effective solution.
  • Formal communication: Senior management team communicates with junior staff via official conferences, official letters, notices, etc. higher position people provide formal guidance and information to lower position people through official emails, meeting minutes and even written demand.
  • Informal communication: Top management is here to convey information to all levels in a subtle way, and there is an informal complaints system that uses different channels to gather information from employees and then resolve them.

Works Cited:

  • Price, M., & Maier, H. (2007). Developing a Reflective Model for Learning from Experience. Journal of Hospitality, Leisure, Sport & Tourism Education, 6(1), 33-42.
  • American Psychological Association. (2021). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (7th ed.).
  • Baumeister, R. F., & Leary, M. R. (1995). The need to belong: Desire for interpersonal attachments as a fundamental human motivation. Psychological Bulletin, 117(3), 497–529.
  • Cooley, C. H. (1902). Human nature and the social order. Charles Scribner’s Sons.
  • Eckhart, T. (1997). The power of now: A guide to spiritual enlightenment. New World Library.
  • Fredrickson, B. L., & Losada, M. F. (2005). Positive affect and the complex dynamics of human flourishing. American Psychologist, 60(7), 678–686.
  • Pink, D. H. (2009). Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates us. Riverhead Books.
  • Rosenberg, M. (1965). Society and the adolescent self-image. Princeton University Press.
  • Seligman, M. E. P. (2011). Flourish: A visionary new understanding of happiness and well-being. Free Press.
  • Zimbardo, P. G., & Boyd, J. N. (2008). The time paradox: The new psychology of time that will change your life. Free Press.

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How it works

Development is any activity or experience that helps an individual to grow, gain new skills, gain insight, and learn. By working with your team and using a number of techniques such as Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-based (SMART) targets, you can successfully identify and improve the developmental needs of individuals within your team. Personal development is a self-managed, lifelong commitment to oneself. It is a way for someone to reflect on their potential, access further developmental training, and set goals in order to improve their development. It is a way to help update learning and skills within the workplace or within personal lives. Understand the importance of promoting personal development. Promoting personal development within the workplace is important to an organization, as it: Improve effectiveness within the company. For instance, I know that I need to refine my skills in facial prosthetics, as this is the least common type of prosthetic that we make. By practicing these skills during downtime, when I have no patients, I can build confidence in this area. This, in turn, will result in improved confidence when asked to complete this type of job, increased time efficiency as I improve this skill, and the provision of superior treatment to the patient. It increases staff morale and decreases the need to recruit. Having a development plan will help to ensure that staff feel valued, positive, and confident in their abilities, and secure within a career role rather than a short-term job role. As a result, staff do not leave to go to other hospitals or jobs, and the organisation is less likely to recruit, thus saving money and time. “Benefits to the Individual of Personal Development:” Improves motivation, focus, satisfaction of job role, and effectiveness – by taking the time to reflect on one’s personal development, one can gain a sense of security from knowing that this is what the individual would like to achieve. By turning this into actions, it helps motivate the individual, focus their mind, and improve effectiveness as they can see and feel the benefits of improving personal development. Improving confidence is vital; by achieving their personal goals, individuals can gain confidence in that particular area. Be able to plan for an individual’s development. In order to plan for an individual’s development, it is important to reflect on the business goal. For example, if my department wanted to expand into breast prosthetics, it would be crucial to ensure that the staff are trained on the specifics of the role, e.g., how to fabricate a prosthetic breast. When developing a plan, it is important to evaluate the individual’s needs and both give and receive feedback. Managing Expectations: It is also important to: Communicate with the individual to make them feel involved, valued, and motivated to be part of their own development. Consider the individual’s training needs and skills they may already have, and allow them to identify some of their own needs. This creates a two-way process. Be sensitive to their needs by being open, transparent, and communicating. This allows the individual to feel less alienated, harassed, or bullied. Understand the individual’s personality and be friendly. Discuss personal development with sensitivity and ensure that wording and phrasing is used correctly. Understand the individual’s learning preference or style. For example, if they are a visual learner, giving them written theory may make them feel overwhelmed. Therefore, it may be beneficial to understand all possible training methods. Development vehicles in the organisation are appropriate to the development needs of the individual. Organizations may offer many different types of vehicles to help improve development, such as: In-house Training: These are non-monetary training courses that the company may offer in-house. For example, in the NHS, we have a training system that allows us to book non-mandatory training, such as wellbeing awareness. Mandatory training refers to training that all staff members must complete. It contributes to the development of the individual and helps them understand company values, goals, and government laws. Coaching – Coaching might be an effective method for individuals who are visual learners or novices in a particular field. Coaching involves demonstrating to the learner how to execute a skill, giving thorough instructions, and allowing the learner to display their understanding by completing the task independently. Mentoring: Having a specific individual to turn to if you require assistance in developing a skill is beneficial. This colleague can help you to further understand how to complete this task to a high standard. Further, they may provide reminders to complete tasks and assess how you are progressing throughout the development plan. Conferences can improve personal and professional development, as they allow you to network, see what training and development courses are available within the profession, and learn from others in the same profession. Formal courses – These can offer a more formal qualification. For example, I would opt to coach and offer mandatory in-house training to our plaster technician. I choose this approach because there are no formal qualifications or conferences available in this field. As it’s a practical job role that involves using machinery and other high-tech tools, I would provide a manual/guide. Additionally, I would demonstrate how to operate the machines, create models and use the tools until they feel confident enough to showcase this skill themselves.

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Personal Development: Psychological Difficulties, Sexuality Essay

Introduction, the psychological difficulties while personal development, sexuality as one of the main problematic issue, works cited.

It is a well-known fact that every human demands some time to develop their individuality. The greatest part of psychologists agrees with this point of view. As for my personal development, I must say that it was rather a difficult process, because it took much time and efforts of people who surrounded me. The life of every child is much more difficult than the life of any adult person sometimes. I looked at the world in different way as I do now and I must say that I saw oppositely different colors. The brightest process of the development of my personal features was the process of sexuality development.

It should be admitted that there are different opinions about the ways of personal development. These distinctions are caused by the different understanding of meaning of society and social groups for the personal development, and also by different understanding of the stages of development, the crises of development.

There are many different theories of personal development and each of them explores the problem of personal development in different way. For example, the psychoanalytical theory describes development as adaptation to the biological nature to the life in society, the developing of some protective mechanisms and the developing of some protective mechanisms and the ways of demands satisfaction. Here the theory of Z.Freud should be mentioned. The theory of features is based on the opinion that all the individual features are formed while living, this theory deals with the process of development of features and the process of stabilization of them. It should be noted that this theory is subordinate to the non-biological laws. Social theory of personal development deals with the interaction between people. The humanistic theory of personal development describes the personal development of the process of “I”-formation.

Besides the discussing personal development from the point of view of any theory there is a tendency of integrating approach – discussing the personal development using different theories. This approach includes several conceptions.

One of such theories is the theory of Erickson who supported the epigenec principle: the genetic stages which are common for every human. Erickson described eight life psychological crises. They are the crisis of trust-untrust (the first year of life), independence against the doubts and shame (2 – 3 y.o.), initiative against guilt (3 – 6 y.o.), working activity against the inferiority complex, the personal recognition against personal conformism. These are the stages which deal with the periods of childhood and adolescence. (Hall 121)

In my opinion the period of adolescence is the most difficult in human life and I think that it would be interesting to discuss the attitude to sexuality with the help of personal development theories. As it was mentioned above it is one of the most important issues in the life of every person.

Depending on the specific social conditions, culture, those traditions that exist in the upbringing of children, this period can be of different content and different duration. Speaking about me, it continues up to 16 and was quite interesting. I must say that I passed all the stages described in psychoanalytical theory by Z.Freud. I do not remember the oral stage and the anal one because they finished at the age of 3 and it is difficult to remember what was happening at that time because I did not realize myself as individuality.

I had all the difficulties that are common for teenagers. The greatest number of children with so-called “School maladjustment”, i.e. not able to adapt to the school (it can be characterized by the low achievement, poor discipline, frustration of relationships with adults and peers, the appearance of negative features in personality and behavior, negative subjective experiences) are experiencing the period of adolescence. (Shaffer 280 – 292)

Speaking about the event in life that had positive impact I must say that it was my sister’s wedding. I was nine years old and I really was not aware of the problem of where children come from. It was quite difficult for me to imagine all the issues concerning this problem. I must say that I suspected that it had something in common with the feelings of love but I could not imagine that people could be so close to love each other. When I found out that my sister was going to get married I was very glad because I knew that it would be a great celebration. But really I was very surprised to find out that my sister was pregnant because I knew that wedding comes first and then children are born. It was impossible for me to know that it was on the contrary. I was very curious about this problem and I asked my parents aout this. They did not know how to explain this to me and decided not to speak to me about this. It was a great shock to me and I was very upset, I felt that I was lonely and that nobody was going to share the secrets. It was the time when I tried to protest everything and it was the start of sexuality developing. I think that this experience was rather positive because it encouraged me to read more about sexual relationship and love.

The attitude to sexuality changes in this period greatly and this is caused by the period of pubescence. Usually it comes with the stage of latent stage, according to Z. Freud.

This period is characterized by intensive growth, increased metabolism, and a sharp increase of the glands. This is the period of puberty and related rapid development and restructuring of all organs and body systems.

Puberty is the main characteristic which explained my psychological peculiarities: hyperexcitability and the relative instability of the nervous system, inflated claims turning into arrogance, overestimation of possibilities confidence, etc. And it is really so because from my own experience I remember that is was so easy to fly into a passion if I did not like something. Especially I conflicted with my parents even if I knew that they were right. I remember that I did not understand the essence of sexuality and I did not take into account the advices of adults. First of all I did not understand what sexuality means. At first I thought that it is a number of features which made me sexual for the opposite sex and it is really right, I understand it now. But my greatest mistake was that I thought that everything should be expressed in my appearance and did not think that behavior is much of sexuality.

Sexual development is inseparable from the total development. Puberty is not just a phenomenon of biological character, but it is also social. The process of puberty affects adolescent behavior indirectly, through the social conditions, for example, through the status of adolescent among the peers, their relationships with adults and etc.( Schultz 85)

Asserting themselves as belonging to male and female, teenager becomes a man, or a woman. This suggests a more broad and deep spiritual and social maturity. It is possible to influence the adolescent behavior only through the transformation of social conditions.

If the younger teens increase sharply the number of negative actions: disobedience, stubbornness, pugnacity, in later adolescence their number decreases, teens are becoming more balanced, they feel better. I remember that when I was 13 I was in conflict with everyone and everything I met on my way but later at 16 I reacted totally opposite. For example, my parents’ requests and the pieces of advice were met by me in a very negative way, and there was always a conflict between us and later I just listened to them and understood that it is the easiest way to avoid the conflict between us and then I did what I considered to be right.

It is worth mentioning that teens are becoming attentive to their appearance. I remember that I was very sensitive to the remarks about my appearance, and I was confused when I was told about anything concerning my body.

A sense of maturity and need for recognition produces a new problem for an adult and a teenager in the relationship with each other.

I, claiming for the new right, wanted to expand my right and to restrict them from adults, with a heightened sense of self dignity, conscious of themselves as someone who can not be suppressed, and humiliated.

I actively resisted the claims that limited my independence, opposed the custody, control, claimed to respect for my personality and human dignity, confidence and tried to prove my independence. I was actively seeking for equality with adults.

I think that in order to develop the right attitude to sexuality the relationship between adults and teenagers should be based on friendship, cooperation, respect to the trust and assistance. The key to their relationship should be a commonality of interests and cooperation in various spheres of activity. And an adult should act as a model and a friend of a teenager in the position of equal assistant.

By the beginning of adolescence two systems of communication are formed: relationships between child and their peers, on the one hand, and with adults – from another. The positions of adolescents in these systems of communication are different: the unequal (with older) and equal (with peers). The equal status brings satisfaction and is a source of cooperation with their peers in various activities.

The changes in the attitude to sexuality bring some changes to the content of communication. The adolescents are interested in the issues of interpersonal communication, the development of individuality.

It is important to note that in childhood we always pay attention to such indicators and knowledge and intelligence and in the period of adolescent personal qualities are more important. It is more important for a teenager to have good communicational skills. And one of the main roles in this is played by sexuality.

In conclusion it must be said that sexuality is the complex of emotions and impulses, characterized by a specific genus of sensual pleasure, and all the bodily organs and functions, as they are long or occasionally associated with a specific range of experiences. Sexuality affects the whole psychic life, since the teenager discovers the completely new side of themselves. In the psychological analysis of adolescent sexuality should strictly distinguish between sexual interest and sexual desire.

Sexual interest belongs to the theoretical aspect of personality. Sexual problems of adolescence lie in the fact that they see the phenomenon only from a theoretical point of view without a psychic experience.

The thoughts of any adolescent revolve around physiology and anatomy. It is a complex mixture of sexual fantasy, and sometimes lust. Next the reading of the “educational” literature comes. The teenager begins to develop in the sexual sphere. a powerful counterbalance in the form of ideal aspirations might help, which however should be awakened before this intoxication. But the worst thing is when a teenager under the influence of the moment makes the subject of deep feelings their sexual pleasure.

I must say that it was rather difficult for me to see the border between sex and love especially after my sister’s pregnancy. But it had a positive impact on my striving for knowledge in this sphere.

Hall Calvin S. and Campbell John B. Theories of Personality . Wiley: 4th edition, 1997. Print.

Schultz Duane P. and Schultz Sydney Ellen. Theories of Personality. Wadsworth Publishing: 9 edition, 2008. Print.

Shaffer David R. and Kipp Katherine. Developmental Psychology: Childhood and Adolescence. Wadsworth Publishing: 8 edition, 2009. Print.

IvyPanda. (2021, November 22). Personal Development: Psychological Difficulties, Sexuality.

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example of essay about personal development

Essay Examples on Personal Growth and Development Essay examples Essay topics 93 essay samples found 1 Disadvantages of Living Alone: a Comprehensive Analysis 1 page / 658 words The choice to live alone can be a liberating and empowering one, granting individuals the freedom and autonomy to shape their lives according to their own preferences.

Personal Development Essay - Free Essay Example - Edubirdie Essay Service Examples Life Personal Growth and Development Personal Development Essay Cite This Essay Download Personal Development Plan Part 1 Personal Analysis (collegiovolta, 2016)

An essay on personal development can focus on the journey of self-improvement and growth. It can discuss strategies for setting and achieving personal goals, self-awareness, resilience, and the importance of continuous learning and self-reflection in building a fulfilling and purposeful life.

2. I've Completed Hundreds Of 30-Day Challenges. Here's What I've Learned by Tara Nicholle-Nelson "I think of Challenges as self-directed projects to change my behavior or spark some personal growth or development I'm clear that I'd like to have.

Personal Growth and Development: My Journey of Self-Discovery: [Essay Example], 1558 words GradesFixer Home — Essay Samples — Life — Development Personal Growth and Development: My Journey of Self-discovery Categories: Conflict Development Words: 1558 | Pages: 3 | 8 min read Published: Jun 5, 2019

Dive into the art of crafting a compelling narrative about personal growth. 1. Choose Your Story: The Heartbeat of Your Essay. The essence of your essay lies in the story you decide to narrate. Growth can sprout from myriad experiences, both grand and ordinary.

1. Start by figuring out which personal development skills you need to build. The first step in any personal development strategy is to figure out how to best use your time. It makes little...

Personal Development - Free Essay Examples And Topic Ideas From the moment we are born, and throughout our entire lifecycle, most people are always working towards improving their personal development. Personal development is also known as personal growth or self-development.

Within this report, I will be creating and discussing a Personal Development Plan (PDP) reflecting upon my own learning, performance, and aspirations; allowing me to develop and mature, affecting me mentally and physically throughout my development within my degree. Purpose

173. Introduction Shyness, a common human trait, often manifests as a reluctance to engage in social interactions due to feelings of self-consciousness and apprehension. While shyness is a natural response, it can also hinder personal growth and limit one's experiences. This essay delves into the challenges…. 1 Page 605 Words.

Personal Development Essays (Page 1) Looking for personal development dissertations? we have a range of dissertation content available at our sister website including example personal development dissertations, proposals, literature reviews and dissertation topic and title examples. Incorporating Gibbs Reflective Cycle in a Group Setting

The Days of My Life: Personal Development Essay Exclusively available on IvyPanda Introduction: Purpose, Goals, and Methods Taking a retrospect at one's own development is a good way to analyze the current behavioral patterns and define the issues that may possibly jeopardize building relationships with the people around.

Introduction A personal development plan is one of the most effective tools for students and professionals who want to achieve excellence in their respective fields. It uses the concept of reflection to enable one keep track of the steps he has made towards acquiring skills and knowledge.

Personal Development Essay. 770 Words2 Pages. Personal development covers activities that improve awareness and identity, develop talents and potential, build human capital and facilitate employability, enhance quality of life and contribute to the realization of dreams and aspirations. Not limited to self help the concept involves formal and ...

Free Essay On Personal Development. 1. Personal Development, Life & Work Experience, Activities and Adversities: As a child, I found it humbling how ants - those tiny creatures belonging to an ancient species - achieve huge goals by functioning as a harmonious collective.

Considering my personal development as an example will help to shed light on the significance of family attachment, the influence of family members, and the importance of having a role model while growing up in order to gain a set of values and skills that will guide one throughout the rest of one's life.

You can use the sample essay about personal development for research, too. Start with the reference section at the bottom of the page to borrow a few sources. And use their respective reference lists to find further evidence. If you supplement it with publications from the class reading list, you should have more than enough data for an essay ...

Personal development planning is a cyclical process that entails personal review, preparation for action, conducting the actual action and analyzing the outcomes of the action taken (Nixon, 2013, p. 210). Self-review enables people to understand their current positions and their learning needs for the future.

Essay Service Examples Life Personal Growth and Development Personal And Professional Development Cite This Essay Download Abstract This report looks at Reflective practice along with Personal and Professional development with a detailed action plan mutually beneficial to both the individual and to the organization.

Achieving Personal and Professional Development: [Essay Example], 1650 words GradesFixer Home — Essay Samples — Life — Personal Growth and Development Achieving Personal and Professional Development Categories: Personal Development Planning Personal Growth and Development Personality Words: 1650 | Pages: 4 | 9 min read Published: Jun 6, 2019

Personal development is a self-managed, lifelong commitment to oneself. It is a way for someone to reflect on their potential, access further developmental training, and set goals in order to improve their development. It is a way to help update learning and skills within the workplace or within personal lives.

It is a well-known fact that every human demands some time to develop their individuality. The greatest part of psychologists agrees with this point of view. As for my personal development, I must say that it was rather a difficult process, because it took much time and efforts of people who surrounded me. The life of every child is much more ...

Essays on Personal Development 34 samples on this topic The array of written assignments you might be tasked with while studying Personal Development is stunning. If some are too challenging, an expertly crafted sample Personal Development piece on a related subject might lead you out of a deadlock.

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The “online brain”: how the Internet may be changing our cognition

Joseph firth.

1 NICM Health Research Institute, Western Sydney University, Westmead, Australia

2 Division of Psychology and Mental Health, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK

3 Centre for Youth Mental Health, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia

John Torous

4 Division of Digital Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA

Brendon Stubbs

5 Department of Psychological Medicine, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King's College London, London, UK

6 Physiotherapy Department, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK

Josh A. Firth

7 Department of Zoology, Edward Grey Institute, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK

8 Merton College, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK

Genevieve Z. Steiner

9 Translational Health Research Institute, Western Sydney University, Penrith, NSW, Australia

10 Cambridge Centre for Sport and Exercise Sciences, Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, UK

Mario Alvarez‐Jimenez

11 Orygen, The National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia

John Gleeson

12 School of Psychology, Australian Catholic University, Melbourne, Australia

Davy Vancampfort

13 Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium

14 University Psychiatric Center, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium

Christopher J. Armitage

15 NIHR Manchester Biomedical Research Centre, Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester Academic Health Science Centre, Manchester, UK

16 NIHR Greater Manchester Patient Safety Translational Research Centre, Manchester, UK

Jerome Sarris

17 Professorial Unit, The Melbourne Clinic, Department of Psychiatry, University of Melbourne, Australia

The impact of the Internet across multiple aspects of modern society is clear. However, the influence that it may have on our brain structure and functioning remains a central topic of investigation. Here we draw on recent psychological, psychiatric and neuroimaging findings to examine several key hypotheses on how the Internet may be changing our cognition. Specifically, we explore how unique features of the online world may be influencing: a) attentional capacities, as the constantly evolving stream of online information encourages our divided attention across multiple media sources, at the expense of sustained concentration; b) memory processes, as this vast and ubiquitous source of online information begins to shift the way we retrieve, store, and even value knowledge; and c) social cognition, as the ability for online social settings to resemble and evoke real‐world social processes creates a new interplay between the Internet and our social lives, including our self‐concepts and self‐esteem. Overall, the available evidence indicates that the Internet can produce both acute and sustained alterations in each of these areas of cognition, which may be reflected in changes in the brain. However, an emerging priority for future research is to determine the effects of extensive online media usage on cognitive development in youth, and examine how this may differ from cognitive outcomes and brain impact of uses of Internet in the elderly. We conclude by proposing how Internet research could be integrated into broader research settings to study how this unprecedented new facet of society can affect our cognition and the brain across the life course.

The Internet is the most widespread and rapidly adopted technology in the history of humanity. In only decades, Internet use has completely re‐invented the ways in which we search for information, consume media and entertainment, and manage our social networks and relationships. With the even more recent advent of smartphones, Internet access has become portable and ubiquitous to the point at which the population of the developed world can be considered “online” 1 , 2 , 3 .

However, the impact that this new channel for connection, information, communication, and screen time is having on our brains and cognitive functioning is unclear. Prior to the Internet, a large body of research had convincingly demonstrated that the brain is somewhat malleable to environmental demands and stimuli, particularly with regards to learning new processes, due to its capacity for neuroplasticity 4 . Various scenarios have been observed to induce long‐term changes in the neuronal architecture of the human brain, including second‐language acquisition 5 , learning new motor skills (such as juggling) 6 , and even formal education or exam preparation 7 . The widespread use of the Internet across the globe has introduced, for many, the necessity and opportunity to learn a myriad of new skills and ways to interact with society, which could bring about neural changes. As an example, even simple interactions with the Internet through the smartphone's touchscreen interface have been demonstrated to bring about sustained neurocognitive alterations due to neural changes in cortical regions associated with sensory and motor processing of the hand and thumb 8 . Beyond this, the Internet also presents a novel platform for almost‐endless learning of new information and complex processes, relevant to both the online and offline world 9 .

Along with neuroplastic mechanisms, other environmental and biological factors can also cause changes in the brain's structure and function, resulting in cognitive decline 10 . In aging samples, for instance, there is evidence to indicate that age‐related cognitive decline may be partly driven by a process of atrophy. Some studies have shown that adopting a less engaging lifestyle across the lifespan may accelerate loss of cognitive function 11 , due to lower “cognitive reserve” (the ability of the brain to withstand insult from age and/or pathology) 12 . Some emerging evidence indicates that disengaging from the “real world” in favor of virtual settings may similarly induce adverse neurocognitive changes. For example, a recent randomized controlled trial (RCT) 13 found that six weeks of engaging in an online role playing game caused significant reductions in grey matter within the orbitofrontal cortex – a brain region implicated in impulse control and decision making. However, the study did not address the extent to which these results were specific to online gaming, rather than general internet usage. Nonetheless, this raises the possibility that various types of Internet usage could differentially affect the brain and cognitive processes – in both adverse and beneficial ways. This may be of particular relevance to the developing brains of children and adolescents, as many cognitive processes (particularly those relevant to higher executive functions and social cognition) are not entirely innate, but rather are strongly influenced by environmental factors 14 .

Although only recently emerging, this possibility has led to a substantial body of research empirically investigating the multiple potential pathways through which the Internet could affect our brains’ structure, function, and cognitive development. Specifically, the bulk of existing research can be separated into three specific domains, examining how the internet is affecting: a) attention (i.e., how the constant influx of online information, prompts and notifications competing for our attention may encourage individuals to displace their concentration across multiple incoming media streams – and the consequences this may have for attentional‐switching versus sustained‐attention tasks); b) memory and knowledge (i.e., the extent to which we rely on the Internet as our primary informational resource, and how unique properties of online information access may affect how we process new memories and value our internal knowledge); c) social cognition (along with the personal and societal consequences of increasingly embedding our social networks, interactions, and status within the online world).

In this state‐of‐the‐art review, we present the current leading hypotheses of how the Internet may alter these cognitive processes, subsequently examining the extent to which these hypotheses are supported by recent findings from psychological, psychiatric and neuroimaging research. In this way, we aggregate the contemporary evidence arising from multiple fields of research to produce revised models on how the Internet may be affecting our brains and cognition. Furthermore, whereas studies to date have focused upon only specific age groups, we examine the effects of the Internet on the human brain across the entire life course. In particular, we explore how the potential benefits/drawbacks of extensive Internet integration with cognitive processes may differ among children and older adults. Finally, we identify important gaps in the existing literature to present key priorities for future research in order to gain new insights for minimizing detrimental effects of the Internet, while capitalizing on this new feature of our societies to potentially influence neurocognitive processes in a beneficial way.


How does the internet gain and sustain our attention.

The Internet consumes a considerable chunk of our attention on a day‐to‐day basis. The vast majority of adults go online daily, and over a quarter report being online “almost constantly” 2 . Within this, one in five American adults are now “smartphone‐only” Internet users 1 . Importantly, the introduction of these Internet‐enabled mobile devices has also reduced the “digital divide” previously experienced by lower and middle income countries 15 . The amount and frequency of Internet usage is even more pronounced amongst younger people. Most adults today witnessed the beginning of the transition from “Internet‐free” to “Internet‐everywhere” societies. However, younger generations (termed “digital natives” 16 ) have been brought up entirely within a “connected world” , particularly in developed countries. Consequently, digital natives are often the first to adopt new online technologies as they arise 16 , and engage extensively with all existing features of the Internet. For instance, 95% of US teens have access to a smartphone, and 45% are online “almost constantly” 3 .

Multiple factors are driving the rapid uptake and extensive usage of Internet‐enabled technologies across the globe. This is partly due to the Internet now being unavoidable, ubiquitous, and a highly functional aspect of modern living. For instance, Internet use is now deeply entwined with education, travel, socializing, commerce, and the majority of workplaces. Along with pragmatic uses, the Internet also offers an endless array of recreational and entertainment activities, through podcasts, e‐books, videos, streaming movies and gaming. However, the ability of the Internet to capture and hold attention is not solely due to the quality of media content available online. Rather, it is also driven by the underlying design and presentation of the online world. One such example is the self‐evolving “attraction mechanism”; whereby aspects of the Internet that fail to gain attention are quickly drowned out in the sea of incoming information, while the successful aspects of the adverts, articles, apps or anything that does manage to capture our attention (even superficially) are logged (through clicks and scrolls), noticed (through online shares), and subsequently proliferated and expanded upon. Alongside this, leading technology companies have been accused of intentionally capitalizing on the addictive potential of Internet, by studying, testing, and refining the attention‐grabbing aspects of their websites and applications (“apps”) to promote extremely high levels of engagement, without due concern for user well‐being 17 .

Furthermore, even when not using the Internet for any specific purpose, smartphones have introduced widespread and habitual “checking” behaviours, characterized by quick but frequent inspections of the device for incoming information from news, social media, or personal contacts 18 . These habits are thought to be the result of behavioural reinforcement from “information rewards” that are received immediately on checking the device 19 , potentially engaging the cortico‐striatal dopaminergic system due to their readily available nature 20 . The variable‐ratio reinforcement schedule inherent to device checking may further perpetuate these compulsive behaviours 21 .

Cognitive consequences of the attention‐grabbing Internet

The unprecedented potential of the Internet to capture our attention presents an urgent need for understanding the impact that this may have on our thought processes and well‐being. Already, education providers are beginning to perceive detrimental effects of the Internet on children's attention, with over 85% of teachers endorsing the statement that “today's digital technologies are creating an easily distracted generation” 22 . The primary hypothesis on how the Internet affects our attentional capacities is through hyperlinks, notifications, and prompts providing a limitless stream of different forms of digital media, thus encouraging us to interact with multiple inputs simultaneously, but only on a shallow level, in a behavioural pattern termed “media multi‐tasking” 23 , 24 .

The seminal study by Ophir et al 23 was among the first to explore the sustained impact of media multi‐tasking on cognitive capacities. This was a cross‐sectional study of individuals who engaged in “heavy” (i.e., frequent and extensive) media multi‐tasking compared to those who did not. Cognitive testing of the two groups produced the then‐surprising finding that those involved in heavy media multi‐tasking performed worse in task‐switching tests than their counterparts – contrary to the authors’ expectation that the “extra practice” afforded by frequent media multi‐tasking would confer cognitive benefit in task‐switching scenarios. Closer inspection of findings suggested that the impeded task‐switching ability in heavy media multi‐tasking individuals was due to their increased susceptibility to distraction from irrelevant environmental stimuli 23 .

Since these initial findings, the effects of media multi‐tasking on cognition have come under increasing scrutiny, because the increasingly diverse forms of entertainment and activities available through the online world can further our capabilities (and temptation) of engaging in media multi‐tasking 25 , even on single devices. For instance, Yeykelis et al 26 measured participants’ media multi‐tasking between different types of online media content while using just one device (personal laptops), and found that switches occurred as frequently as every 19 seconds, with 75% of all on‐screen content being viewed for less than one minute. Measures of skin conductance during the study found that arousal increased in the seconds leading up to media switching, reaching a high point at the moment of the switch, followed by a decline afterward 26 . Again, this suggests that the proclivity for alternating between different computer windows, opening new hyperlinks, and performing new searches could be driven by the readily available nature of the informational rewards, which are potentially awaiting in the unattended media stream. Supporting this, the study also found that, whereas switching from work‐related content to entertainment was associated with increased arousal in anticipation of the switch, there was no anticipatory arousal spike associated with entertainment to work‐content switches 26 .

The growing concern around the increasing amount of media multi‐tasking with the spread of ubiquitous Internet access has resulted in further empirical studies. These have produced conflicting findings, with some failing to find any adverse effects on attention 27 , and others indicating that media multi‐tasking may even be linked to increased performance for other aspects of cognition, such as multisensory integration 28 . Nonetheless the literature, on balance, does seem to indicate that those who engage in frequent and extensive media multi‐tasking in their day‐to‐day lives perform worse in various cognitive tasks than those who do not, particularly for sustained attention 25 .

Imaging studies have shed light onto the neural differences which may account for these cognitive deficits. Functionally, those who engage in heavy media multi‐tasking perform poorer in distracted attention tasks, even though exhibiting greater activity in right prefrontal regions 29 . As right prefrontal regions are typically activated in response to distractor stimuli, the observed increases in recruitment of these regions alongside poorer performance suggests that heavy media multi‐taskers require greater cognitive effort to maintain concentration when faced with distractor stimuli 29 . Structurally, high levels of Internet usage 30 and heavy media multi‐tasking 31 are associated with decreased grey matter in prefrontal regions associated with maintaining goals in face of distraction (such as the right frontal pole and anterior cingulate cortex). However, the findings to date must be interpreted with caution, as various confounding factors may be affecting the results of these cross‐sectional imaging studies. Although the differences persist when controlling for general digital media use and other simple confounders (age, gender, etc.), further research is required to examine if the observed neural differences are specifically attributable to heavy vs. light media multi‐tasking, or in fact driven by broader differences in lifestyle between the two groups.

Given the amount of time that people now spend in media multi‐tasking via personal digital devices, it is increasingly relevant to consider not only sustained changes which arise in those who engage in large amounts of media multi‐tasking, but also the acute effects on immediate cognitive capacities. A meta‐analysis of 41 studies showed that engaging in multi‐tasking was associated with significantly poorer overall cognitive performance, with a moderate‐to‐large effect size (Cohen's d=–0.71, 95% CI: –0.86 to –0.57). This has been confirmed by more recent studies, further showing that even short‐term engagement with an extensively hyperlinked online environment (i.e., online shopping for 15 minutes) reduces attentional scope for a sustained duration after coming offline, whereas reading a magazine does not produce these deficits 32 .

Overall, the available evidence strongly indicates that engaging in multi‐tasking via digital media does not improve our multi‐tasking performance in other settings – and in fact seems to decrease this cognitive capacity through reducing our ability to ignore incoming distractions. Much of the multi‐tasking investigations so far have been focusing on personal computers. However, smartphone technologies may even further encourage people to engage in media multi‐tasking through high rates of incoming prompts from emails, direct messages and social media notifications occurring while both using and not using the device. Thus, along with determining long‐term consequences of media multi‐tasking, future research should examine how the constant multi‐tasking made possible by Internet‐enabled mobile devices may impact daily functioning through acute but high frequency effects.

Furthermore, both the immediate and chronic effects of media multi‐tasking are relatively unexplored in children and adolescents, who are the prime users of such technologies 33 and are at a phase of development that is crucial for refining higher cognitive abilities 14 . The first longitudinal study of media multi‐tasking in young people has recently found that frequent multi‐tasking behaviours do predict the development of attentional deficits specifically in early adolescents, but not in older teens 34 . Additionally, extensive media multi‐tasking during childhood and adolescence could also negatively impact cognitive development through indirect means, by reducing engagement with academic and social activities, as well as by interfering with sleep 35 , or reducing the opportunity to engage in creative thinking 36 , 37 . Clearly, further research is necessary to properly measure the effects of ubiquitous computing on children's cognitive development, and to find practical ways for ameliorating any detrimental impact this may be having.


The internet and transactive memory.

In response to the question “How has the Internet changed your life?” , some common answers include finding new friends, renewing old friendships, studying online, finding romantic relationships, furthering career opportunities, shopping, and travel 38 . However, the most common answer is people stating that the Internet has “changed the way in which they access information” 38 . Indeed, for the first time in human history, the majority of people living in the developed world have access to almost all factual information in existence literally at their fingertips.

Along with the obvious advantages, this unique situation also introduces the possibility of the Internet ultimately negating or replacing the need for certain human memory systems – particularly for aspects of “semantic memory” (i.e., memory of facts) – which are somewhat independent from other types of memory in the human brain 39 . An initial indication of Internet information gathering affecting typical memory processes was provided by Sparrow et al 40 , who demonstrated that the ability to access information online caused people to become more likely to remember where these facts could be retrieved rather than the facts themselves, indicating that people quickly become reliant on the Internet for information retrieval.

It could be argued that this is not unique to the Internet, but rather just an example of the online world acting as a form of external memory or “transactive memory” 40 , 41 . Transactive memory has been an integral part of human societies for millennia, and refers to the process by which people opt to outsource information to other individuals within their families, communities, etc., such that they are able to just remember the source of the knowledge, rather than attempting to store all of this information themselves 41 . Although beneficial at a group level, using transactive memory systems does reduce an individual's ability to recall the specifics of the externally stored information 42 . This may be due to individuals using transactive memory for “cognitive offloading” , implicitly reducing their allocation of cognitive resources towards remembering this information, since they know this will be available for future reference externally. This phenomenon has been demonstrated in multiple contexts, including those of team work 43 and other “non‐Internet” technologies (e.g., photography reducing individuals’ memories of the objects they photographed) 44 .

However, it is becoming clear that the Internet actually presents something entirely novel and distinct from previous transactive memory systems 45 , 46 . Crucially, the Internet seems to bypass the “transactional” aspect that is inherent to other forms of cognitive offloading in two ways. First, the Internet does not place any responsibility on the user to retain unique information for others to draw upon (as would typically be required in human societies) 45 . Second, unlike other transactive memory stores, the Internet acts as a single entity that is responsible for holding and retrieving virtually all factual information, and thus does not require individuals to remember what exact information is externally stored, or even where it is located. In this way, the Internet is becoming a “supernormal stimulus” 46 for transactive memory – making all other options for cognitive offloading (including books, friends, community) become redundant, as they are outcompeted by the novel capabilities for external information storage and retrieval made possible by the Internet.

How does a supernormal stimulus interact with normal cognition?

Unfortunately, the rapid methods of acquisition and constant availability of information afforded by the Internet may not necessarily lead to better use of information gained. For instance, an experimental study 47 found that individuals instructed to search for specific information online completed the information gathering task faster than those using printed encyclopedias, but were subsequently less able to recall the information accurately.

During Internet and encyclopedia information gathering tasks, functional magnetic resonance imaging was used to examine activation in the ventral and dorsal streams. These regions are referred to as the “what” and “where” streams, respectively, due to their indicated roles in storing either the specific content (ventral stream) or external location (dorsal stream) of incoming information 47 . Although there was no difference in activation of the dorsal stream, results showed that the poorer recall of Internet‐sought information compared to encyclopedia‐based learning was associated with reduced activation of the ventral (“what”) stream during online information gathering. These findings further support the possibility, initially raised by Sparrow et al 40 , that online information gathering, while faster, may fail to sufficiently recruit brain regions for storing information on a long‐term basis.

The potential for online searching to produce a sustained impact upon our cognitive processes has been investigated in a series of studies examining pre‐post changes following a six‐day Internet search training paradigm. In these studies, young adults were given an hour per day of Internet search tasks, and undertook an array of cognitive and neuroimaging assessments pre‐ and post‐training. Results showed that the six‐day Internet search training reduced regional homogeneity and functional connectivity of brain areas involved in long‐term memory formation and retrieval (e.g., temporal gyrus) 48 . This indicates that a reliance on online searching may impede memory retrieval by reducing the functional connectivity and synchronization of associated brain regions 48 . Furthermore, when faced with new questions after the six days, the training had increased participants’ self‐reported impulses towards using the Internet to answer those questions, which was reflected in a recruitment of prefrontal brain areas required for behavioural and impulse control 49 . This increased propensity for relying on Internet searches for gathering new information has been replicated in subsequent studies 50 , and is in keeping with the “supernormal stimulus” nature of the Internet, potentially suggesting that online information gathering quickly trains people to become dependent on this tool when faced with unknown issues.

However, despite the possible adverse effects on regular “offline” memory, the six‐days training did make people more efficient at using the Internet for retrieving information, as participants became faster at the search tasks, with no loss of accuracy 51 . Search training also produced increases in white matter integrity of the fiber tracts connecting the frontal, occipital, parietal and temporal lobes, significantly more than the non‐search control condition 52 . In other studies, cognitive offloading via digital devices has also been found to improve people's ability to focus on aspects that are not immediately retrievable, and thus remember these better in the future 53 .

These findings seem to support the emergent hypotheses that relying on the Internet for factual memory storage may actually produce cognitive benefit in other areas, perhaps by “freeing up” cognitive resources 54 , and thus enabling us to use our newly available cognitive capacities for more ambitious undertakings than previously possible 45 . Researchers advocating this view have pointed to multiple domains of collective human endeavor that have already been transformed by the Internet's provision of supernormal transactive memory, such as education, journalism and even academia 55 . As online technologies continue to advance (particularly with regards to “wearables”), it is conceivable that the performance benefits from the Internet, which are already visible at the societal level, could ultimately become integrated within individuals themselves, enabling new heights of cognitive function 56 .

Unfortunately, however, a more sobering finding with regards to the immediate possibility of ubiquitous Internet access enabling new heights of human intelligence is provided by Barr et al 57 , who observed that analytical thinkers, with higher cognitive capacities, actually use their smartphone less for transactive memory in day‐to‐day situations compared to individuals with non‐analytical thinking styles. Furthermore, the reduced smartphone usage in analytical versus non‐analytical thinkers was specific to online information searching, with no differences in social media or entertainment usages, thus indicating that the differences are likely due to the Internet furthering “cognitive miserliness” among less analytical thinkers 57 .

Alongside this, the increasing reliance on the Internet for information may cause individuals to “blur the lines” between their own capabilities and their devices’ 58 . In a series of experiments, Fisher et al 59 investigated how the Internet influences our self‐perceived knowledge. Results showed that online searching increases our sense of how much we know, even though the illusion of self‐knowledge is only perceived for the domains in which the Internet can “fill in the gaps” for us. The experiments also demonstrated how quickly individuals internalized the Internet's external knowledge as their own – as even immediately after using the Internet to answer the task questions, participants attributed their higher quality explanations to “increased brain activity” . More recent studies have shown that illusions of self‐knowledge similarly persist when using smartphones to retrieve online information 58 . As individuals become more and more connected with their personal digital devices (which are also always accessible), it seems inevitable that the distinction between self and Internet's abilities will become increasingly elusive, potentially creating a constant illusion of “greater than actual knowledge” among large portions of the population.

Overall, the Internet clearly can provide a “superstimulus” for transactive memory, which is already changing the way we store, retrieve, and even value knowledge. However, with popular online information sources such as Google and Wikipedia less than 20 years old, it is currently not possible to ascertain how this may eventually be reflected in long‐term changes to the structure and function of the human brain. Nonetheless, our constant connection with the online world through personal devices (i.e., smartphones), along with the emerging potential for more direct integration through wearable devices, certainly indicates that we are set to become more reliant on the Internet for factual information as time goes on. Also, whereas the studies described above have focused on factual knowledge, the Internet is also now becoming a superstimulus for spatial information (through providing constant access to online maps and global positioning system). As spatial memory is somewhat independent from semantic memory in the human brain 60 , further research should investigate the multitude of ways in which extensive use of these external memory systems may reduce, enhance or alter our cognitive capacities.


Human sociality in the online world.

Social relationships and having a sense of connection are important determinants of happiness and stress relief 61 , 62 , mental and physical well‐being 63 , 64 , and even mortality 65 . Over the past decade, the proportion of an individual's social interactions that take place online within social networking sites (e.g., Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) has grown dramatically 66 , 67 , and our connection with these sites is now strongly meshed with the offline world. The real‐world implications of this are perhaps best evidenced by the critical role that social media have played in multiple global affairs, including reportedly starting and precipitating the London Riots, the Occupy movement 68 , and even the Arab Spring 69 , along with potentially influencing the outcomes of the UK's European Union Referendum (“Brexit”) 70 and the 2016 US elections 71 . Clearly, understanding the shift from real‐world interactions into the online social environment (and vice versa) holds significance to almost all aspects of people's lives.

Our motivations towards using social media is broadly similar to the instinctual desires underlying “real world” social interactions, as people are drawn to online sociality in order to exchange information and ideas, along with gaining social support and friendships 72 . However, whether or not these virtual interactions engage the human brain in ways analogous to real‐world socialization remains a topic of debate since the turn of the century 73 . Whereas it would be highly beneficial if social media sites could fulfil the implicit human needs for social connection, it may be that the distinction between online and offline networks is so great that entirely different cognitive domains are involved in navigating these different environments 74 , 75 .

How does the online environment affect our fundamental social structures?

To investigate the neuroimaging correlates of offline and online networks, the seminal study by Kanai et al 74 collected real‐world social network size, online sociality (i.e., Facebook friends) and magnetic resonance imaging scans from 125 participants. Results showed that both real‐world social network size and number of Facebook friends were significantly associated with amygdala volume. As this has previously been established as a key brain region for social cognition and social network size 76 , these results present a strong case for the overlap between online and offline sociality in the human brain.

However, those authors also found that the grey matter volume of other brain regions (specifically, posterior regions of the middle temporal gyrus and superior temporal sulcus, and the right entorhinal cortex) were predicted by the numbers of participants’ Facebook friends, but held no relationship to their real‐world social networks. This suggests that certain unique aspects of social media implicate aspects of the brain that are not central in “real‐world” social settings. For instance, the tendency for online networks to encourage us towards holding many weak social connections, involving thousands of face‐to‐name pairs, could require high associative memory capacities, which is not typically required in real‐world networks (as these are comprised of fewer, but more familiar, relationships) 74 . As associative memory formation for name‐face pairs involves the right entorhinal cortex 77 , 78 , this could explain the exclusive relationship that this region holds with online social (but not real‐world) network size 74 .

Indeed, one key difference which may separate how the brain handles online and offline social networks is the unique capacity afforded by the Internet for people to hold, and simultaneously interact with, millions of “friendships” 79 , 80 . Empirical testing of this hypothesis is a most fruitful area of investigation stemming from research into the fundamental similarities and differences between these two social worlds at a biological level 66 . When defining “friendships” under a broad context (people who maintain contact and share an emotional bond) 66 , two patterns are prominent across a diverse range of real‐world social networks: a) the average individual has around 150 “friendships” (but this is highly variable between individuals), and b) this is made up of five hierarchical layers, consisting of primary partners, intimate relationships, best friends, close friends, and all friends, which follow a size‐scaling ratio of around 3 (i.e., each cumulative layer is 3 times bigger than the last), and therefore have set average (cumulative/inclusive) sizes of 1.5, 5, 15, 50 and 150 respectively 66 . The patterns of the average number of 150 total friendship connections, and the scaling sizes of the five hierarchical layers of relationships making this up, have been found across regions and time periods within various human organizations, ranging from hunter‐gatherer societies 81 , 82 and historical village populations 83 , armies 66 , residential camps 84 , to personal networks of modern Europeans 85 .

Thus, given the unprecedented potential that online social networks allow in terms of number of connections, and the varied contexts these take place over 79 , 80 , it is imaginable that this extraordinary environment may allow these two apparently set aspects of real‐world social networks to be bypassed. However, recent findings have confirmed that user‐to‐user friendship connections, posting patterns and exchanges within Twitter, Facebook, and even online gaming platforms, all indicate a similar average number of general friendships (around 150, despite high skew), along with maintaining the same scaled sizes of the hierarchical structure of the five distinct friendship layers (as determined by reciprocal communication exchanges) 86 , 87 , 88 , 89 . Therefore, even within the unique realms of online social networks, the most fundamental operations of human social networks appear to remain relatively unchanged 88 , 89 . So, it is highly conceivable that the social connections formed in the online world are processed in similar ways to those of the offline world, and thus have much potential to carry over from the Internet to shape “real‐world” sociality, including our social interactions and our perceptions of social hierarchies, in ways that are not restricted to the context of the Internet.

The driving forces that sustain the set structural patterns of social networks, even when faced with the immense connective potential of the online world, may be broadly explained by two overlapping mechanisms. First, constraints on social cognition within the human brain seem to carry over across social contexts 66 . For instance, humans struggle to engagingly interact with more than three individuals simultaneously in the real world, and this limitation on attention also appears to apply online 90 , 91 . This evidence is in agreement with the hypothesis that circumventing the cognitive constraints on social relationships may be difficult even when technology affords unnatural opportunities to do so 88 .

The second driver of set boundaries on social activity is that simple underlying factors may produce social constraints, even within online settings. Most obviously, investment in social relationships is limited by time constraints, and this may contribute to the set patterns of both the number and type of social connections 93 , 94 . In line with this, analyses across various social contexts have shown that temporal limitations govern the number of social interactions that individuals engage in, and how they distribute these across their different kinds of relationships 93 , 94 . Again, these general interaction rates remain similar within online social networks 87 , 88 .

The possibility that the parameters on all social networks (online or offline) are governed by basic underlying factors is further supported by research showing that similar structures also exist within simpler social systems, such as animal societies 66 , 95 . For instance, the sizes and scaling of hierarchical “friendship” layers found in online and offline human networks are also found in dolphins, elephants, and various primate species 96 , and the phenomena of humans increasing the number and strength of their social networks connections following the death of a friend on Facebook 97 is also seen in wild birds, which show compensatory up‐regulation of their social network connections upon experiencing the loss of a social associate 98 .

Supporting the idea that limited cognitive capacities govern our social structures is research showing that the brain regions predicting individual variation in social network size in humans also do so for macaques 99 . Strong support for simple underlying factors (such as time) governing our general patterning of social interactions can be found in studies demonstrating that entirely computationally simulated systems replicate some of the apparent complexities of human social networks, even under relatively simple rules 100 , 101 . Examples include agent‐based models generating similar social layering structures as humans when sociality is defined as time‐limited 100 .

In light of the current evidence regarding how the Internet may have affected human thinking surrounding social networks, it is undeniable that the online environment poses unique potential and context for social activity 79 , 80 , 102 , 103 , which may invoke some non‐identical cognitive processes and brain areas in comparison to the offline world 74 , 75 . Nevertheless, aside from these comparatively fine‐scale differences, it appears that our brains process the online and offline social networks in surprisingly similar ways, as demonstrated by the shared cognitive capacities and simple underlying factors ultimately governing their fundamental structure 87 , 88 . As such, the online social world has very significant implications for not only measuring and understanding human sociality, but also for governing the outcomes of social processes across various aspects of life.

Social cognitive responses to the online social world

Given the evidence above, an appropriate metaphor for the relationship between online and real‐world sociality could be a “new playing field for the same game” . Even beyond the fundamental structure, emerging research suggests that neurocognitive responses to online social occurrences are similar to those of real‐life interactions. For instance, being rejected online has been shown to increase activity in brain regions strongly linked with social cognition and real‐world rejection (medial prefrontal cortex 104 ) in both adults and children 105 , 106 , 107 . However, within the “same old game” of human sociality, online social media is bending some of the rules – potentially at the expense of users 17 . For instance, whereas real‐world acceptance and rejection is often ambiguous and open to self‐interpretation, social media platforms directly quantify our social success (or failure), by providing clear metrics in the form of “friends” , “followers” , and “likes” (or the potentially painful loss/absence of these) 107 . Given the addictive nature of this immediate, self‐defining feedback, social media companies may even capitalize upon this to maximally engage users 17 . However, growing evidence indicates that relying on online feedback for self‐esteem can have adverse effects on young people, particularly those with low social‐emotional well‐being, due to high rates of cyberbullying 108 , increased anxiety and depression 109 , 110 , and increased perceptions of social isolation and exclusion among those who feel rejected online 111 .

Another process common to human social behaviour in both online and offline worlds is the tendency to make upward social comparisons 112 , 113 . Whereas these can be adaptive and beneficial under regular environmental conditions 112 , this implicit cognitive process can also be hijacked by the artificial environmental manufactured on social media 113 , 114 , which showcases hyper‐successful individuals constantly putting their best foot forward, and even using digital manipulation of images to inflate physical attractiveness. By facilitating exposure to these drastically upward social comparisons (which would rarely be encountered in everyday life), online social media can produce unrealistic expectations of oneself – leading to poor body image and negative self‐concept, particularly for younger people 107 , 111 , 115 , 116 . For instance, in adolescents (particularly females), those who spent more time on social media and smartphones have a greater prevalence of mental health problems, including depression, than those who spent more time on “non‐screen” activities 116 , with greater than 5 hrs/day (versus 1 hr/day) associated with a 66% increased risk of one suicide‐related outcome 117 .

However, a causal relationship between high levels of social media use and poorer mental health is currently difficult to establish, as there is most likely a complex interaction between several confounding factors, including reduced sleep and in‐person social interaction, and increased sedentary behaviour and perceived loneliness 116 , 118 . Nonetheless, given the large amounts of social media use observed among young people, future research should thoroughly examine the potentially detrimental effects that this new setting for sociality may have on health and well‐being, along with aiming to establish the driving factors – such that adjustments can be made in subsequent iterations of social media in order to produce more positive outcomes.

Whereas young people with mental disorders may be the most vulnerable to negative input from social media, these media may also present a new platform for improving mental health in this population, if used correctly. In future, social media may also be exploited to promote ongoing engagement with Internet‐based interventions, while addressing key (but frequently neglected) targets such as social connectedness, social support and self‐efficacy, to aim to bring about sustained functional improvements in severe and complex mental health conditions 119 . To achieve these goals, online social media‐based interventions need to be designed to promote engagement by harnessing, in an ethical and transparent manner, effective strategies used by the industry. For instance, developing technologies which are increasingly adopted by online marketing and tech companies, such as natural language processing, sentiment analyses and machine learning, could be capitalized upon, for example making it possible to identify those at increased risk for suicide or relapse 120 , and rationalizing human driven support to those who need it most at the time they need it 121 . In addition, online systems will be able to learn from what helps individuals and when, opening a window into personalized, real time interventions 121 .

While the use of online social media‐based interventions is in its infancy, pioneering efforts indicate that these interventions are safe, engaging, and have the potential to improve clinical and social outcomes in both patients and their relatives 122 , 123 , 124 , 125 , 126 , 127 . That said, online interventions have failed up to now to be adopted by mental health services 128 , 129 . The main reasons include high attrition rates, poor study designs which reduce translational potential, and a lack of consensus around the required standards of evidence for widespread implementation of Internet‐delivered therapies 130 , 131 , 132 . Efforts are currently underway to determine the long‐term effects of the first generation of social media‐based interventions for mental illness via large randomized controlled trials 133 , 134 . Alongside this clinical use, developing public health strategies for young adults in the general population to avoid the potential adverse effects and negative aspects of typical social media are also warranted.


As digital technologies become increasingly integrated with everyday life, the Internet is becoming highly proficient at capturing our attention, while producing a global shift in how people gather information, and connect with one another. In this review, we found emerging support for several hypotheses regarding the pathways through which the Internet is influencing our brains and cognitive processes, particularly with regards to: a) the multi‐faceted stream of incoming information encouraging us to engage in attentional‐switching and “multi‐tasking” , rather than sustained focus; b) the ubiquitous and rapid access to online factual information outcompeting previous transactive systems, and potentially even internal memory processes; c) the online social world paralleling “real world” cognitive processes, and becoming meshed with our offline sociality, introducing the possibility for the special properties of social media to impact on “real life” in unforeseen ways.

However, with fewer than 30 years since the Internet became publicly available, the long‐term effects have yet to be established. Within this, it seems particularly important that future research determines the impact of the Internet on us throughout different points in the lifespan. For instance, the Internet's digital distractions and supernormal capacities for cognitive offloading seem to create a non‐ideal environment for the refinement of higher cognitive functions in critical periods of children and adolescents’ brain development. Indeed, the first longitudinal studies on this topic have found that adverse attentional effects of digital multi‐tasking are particularly pronounced in early adolescence (even compared to older teens) 34 , and that higher frequency of Internet use over 3 years in children is linked with decreased verbal intelligence at follow‐up, along with impeded maturation of both grey and white matter regions 135 .

On the other hand, the opposite may be true in older adults experiencing cognitive decline, for whom the online environment may provide a new source of positive cognitive stimulation. For instance, Internet searching engaged more neural circuitry than reading text pages in Internet savvy older adults (aged 55‐76 years) 9 . Furthermore, experimental studies have found that computer games available online and through smartphones can be used to attenuate aging‐related cognitive decline 136 , 137 , 138 . Thus, the Internet may present a novel and accessible platform for adults to maintain cognitive function throughout old age. Building from this, successful cognitive aging has previously been shown to be dependent upon learning and deploying cognitive strategies, which can compensate for aging‐related decline in “raw” memory capacities 139 . This has previously been referred to as optimizing internal cognitive processes (e.g., through mnemonic strategies), or taking advantage of cognitive offloading in traditional formats (list making, transactive memory, etc.) 139 . Nonetheless, as Internet‐based technologies become more deeply integrated with our daily cognitive processing (through smartphones, wearables, etc.), digital natives could feasibly develop forms of “online cognition” in the aging brain, whereby older adults can increasingly take advantage of web‐based transactive memory and other emerging online processes to fulfil (or even exceed) the typical capacities of a younger brain.

Although it is an emerging area of study, the same could apply for social aspects of the online world. Whereas young people seem particularly prone to the rejections, peer pressure, and negative appraisals this world may induce 107 , older adults may ultimately be able to harness social media in order to overcome isolation and thus continue to benefit from the diverse range of physical, mental and neurocognitive benefits associated with social connection 73 . Viewed collectively, the nascent research in this area already indicates that equivalent types of Internet usage may have differential effects on individuals’ cognitive and social functioning depending on their point in the lifespan.

For better or for worse, we are already conducting a mass‐scale experiment of extensive Internet usage across the global population. A more fine‐scale analysis is essential to gaining a fuller understanding of the sustained impact of this usage across our society. This could include measuring frequency, duration and types of Internet usage as a standard part of national data projects, for instance through collecting Internet data (from either device‐based or self‐report measures) in “biobank” assessment protocols. Combining this with the extensive genetic, socio‐demographic, lifestyle and neuroimaging data gathered by some ongoing projects, researchers could be able to establish the impact of Internet usage on psychological well‐being and brain functioning across entire populations (rather than the currently limited study samples), while also controlling for multiple confounders.

Overall, this early phase of the Internet's introduction into our society is a crucial period for commencing rigorous and extensive research into how different types of Internet usage interact with human cognition, in order to maximize our opportunities for harnessing this new tool in a beneficial manner, while minimizing the potentially adverse effects.


J. Firth is supported by a Blackmores Institute Fellowship. J. Sarris is supported by an Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Clinical Research Fellowship (APP1125000). B. Stubbs is supported by the Health Education England and the National Institute for Health Research Integrated Clinical Academic Programme Clinical Lectureship (ICA‐CL‐2017‐03‐001). G.Z. Steiner is supported by an NHMRC‐Australian Research Council (ARC) Dementia Research Development Fellowship (APP1102532). M. Alvarez‐Jimenez is supported by an NHMRC Career Development Fellowship (APP1082934). C.J. Armitage is supported by National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Manchester Biomedical Research Centre and NIHR Greater Manchester Patient Safety Translational Research Centre. The views expressed in this paper are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the above‐mentioned entities.

Knowledge Is Power Essay for Students and Children

500+ words essay on knowledge is power.

Knowledge Is Power Essay- Knowledge is something that will serve you your whole life. The most powerful thing in the world is knowledge because it can create and destroy life on earth . Moreover, knowledge helps us distinguish between humans and animals . Knowledge is the ability to use your knowledge to help others.

Knowledge Is Power Essay

Importance of Knowledge

There are very few people out there who truly understand the importance of knowledge. Every educated person is not knowledgeable, but every knowledgeable person is educated. This statement may sound weird but it’s true. In today’s world, almost everyone is educated still they do not have knowledge of the subject that they have studied.

Besides, Knowledge is something that helps you drive a car, ride a bike, solve a puzzle, etc. Knowledge is something that prevents us from making the same mistake twice. It is not something that you can buy from you have to earn it.

Benefits of Knowledge

The knowledge is something that increases the more you share it. It protects your intellectual capital that is your knowledge. Likewise, humans have used their knowledge to create things that we can’t imagine a few centuries back. It helps us to convert our ideas into reality and also it helps us to reach the success that we desire in our life.

Moreover, knowledge assists us to differentiate between what is right and what is wrong. It helps us to overcome our faults, weaknesses, and dangerous situation in life. Also, a person with knowledge is more mentally and morally sound than people with money and less knowledge.

Besides, Knowledge is a very important tool to get positive changes in society or country. Knowledge gives us a vision of our future and what we can do in it. All the countries in the world that use technologically developed tools and machinery and many other things is the result of the knowledge. Weapons and bomb do not make a country powerful but knowledge does.

The growth and development of a nation do not depend on the arms and weaponry the country has. But with the amount of knowledgeable person it has and it is possible only because of the power of knowledge.

Get the huge list of more than 500 Essay Topics and Ideas

Prospective of Knowledge

Knowledge is something that is so powerful that it can destroy the whole earth and on the other hand is a tool that can restore balance on the earth. The knowledgeable person is the richest person on earth because no one can steal his/her knowledge. But anyone can easily steal your money and power from you any time.

Moreover, it never decreases on use and only increases with time. Accordingly, a knowledgeable person is more important than a rich person because a rich person can give money to the nation but a knowledgeable person can give knowledge to the nation and this knowledge can also increase the wealth of the nation .

In conclusion, we can say that true knowledge help person to bloom. Also, it keeps people away from fights and corruption. Besides, knowledge brings happiness and prosperity to the nation. Above all, knowledge opens the door of success for everyone.

FAQs about Knowledge Is Power

Q.1 Why knowledge is power? A.1 It is the power because it can solve any issue, also it can influence anyone to do any work. Besides this, knowledge s power because it can create and destroy anything that is present on the earth.

Q.2 Why little knowledge is dangerous? A.2 It is dangerous because persons with less knowledge do not know things completely but still gives his/her opinion on everything. Moreover, little knowledge is a ticking bomb which an explosion causes damages to people around it.

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Why Employees Don’t Share Knowledge with Each Other

  • Marylène Gagné,
  • Amy Wei Tian,
  • Christine Soo,
  • Khee Seng Benjamin Ho,
  • Katrina Hosszu

knowledge is limitless essay

Often it’s because of how jobs are designed.

Companies want employees to share what they know. Research has found that this leads to greater creativity, more innovation, and better performance, for individuals, teams, and organizations. Yet despite companies’ attempts to encourage knowledge sharing (think of those open office spaces), many employees withhold what they know. They may play dumb, pretend not to know something, promise to share something but never do it, or tell people they can’t share when in fact they could. New research finds that the way jobs are designed can affect whether employees share or hide knowledge from their colleagues. More cognitively complex jobs — in which people need to process large amounts of information and solve complex problems — tend to promote more knowledge sharing, as do jobs offering more autonomy. By focusing on these aspects of work, managers can encourage employees to share more and hide less.

Companies want employees to share what they know. After all, research has found that this leads to greater creativity, more innovation, and better performance, for individuals, teams, and organizations. Yet despite companies’ attempts to encourage knowledge sharing (think of those open office spaces ), many employees withhold what they know — a phenomenon known as knowledge hoarding or knowledge hiding. They may play dumb, pretend not to know something, promise to share something but never do it, or tell people they can’t share when in fact they could.

knowledge is limitless essay

  • MG Marylène Gagné is a Professor of organizational behavior at the Future of Work Institute, Curtin University in Perth Australia. Her research examines how job design, management and compensation affect people’s motivational orientations towards their work. She also examines the consequences of these orientations for individual and organisational performance, and for individual mental health.
  • AT Amy Wei Tian is an Associate Professor in human resource management at the Curtin Business School, Curtin University in Perth Australia. Her research focuses on how strategic HRM and leadership affect people’s attitudinal and behavioral outcomes such as creativity and innovation. She also examines how multicultural employees, leaders and teams can contribute to team and organisational success.
  • CS Christine Soo is a Lecturer in strategic human resource management at the UWA Business School in Perth Australia. Her research focuses on how people create, share and apply knowledge in organisations, and the role of the organisation in implementing effective processes and mechanisms to facilitate this.
  • BZ Bo Zhang is an Associate Professor in human resources management at the School of economics and management, Beijing University of Chemical Technology, China. His research focuses on the effects of human resource management practices on employee outcomes and organizational performance.
  • KH Khee Seng Benjamin Ho is an organizational development and personnel psychologist, and management consultant, at Great Place to Work in Singapore, where he provides workplace culture advisory services. He also has experience in workforce analytics and talent management.
  • KH Katrina Hosszu is a research officer at the Future of Work Institute, Curtin University in Perth, Australia. She has an interest in high performance work teams and is currently conducting research on applied human factors and human systems integration in the design of highly complex socio-technical systems.

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  • Knowledge is Power Essay


Essay on Knowledge is Power

Knowledge means understanding of something such as facts, information, description and skills. It is the source of power to man and this distinguishes him from other creatures of the universe. Though man is physically weaker than many animals, for he cannot see as far as an eagle, nor carry heavy loads as some animals. Nevertheless he is the most powerful creature on earth. This power basically comes to him from knowledge not from physical strength. ‘Knowledge is power’ means that a man has education and a complete control on his life by using the strength of knowledge. 

The ability to acquire knowledge, preserve and pass it on to the future generation makes man powerful. It enables him to control the forces of nature and use them for his benefit. This power of knowledge, if used wisely can bring happiness to mankind. Knowledge leads to wisdom, respect and consequently power. 

Why is Knowledge Powerful?

Knowledge does not always come with power. Knowledge is the state of awareness or understanding and learning of specific information about something and it is gained from experience or study. This means a person has the resources to express his views dynamically and make intelligent decisions based on his every day situations, awareness and understanding. 

This doesn’t make a man powerful. A man is said to be powerful when he uses his knowledge to mobilize in the right direction. When a man has the ability or capacity to act or perform effectively with his knowledge then he gains Power.

Benefits of Knowledge

Knowledge is important to shape our personality and perfect our behavior and dealings with people. 

Knowledge hones thinking skills. Knowledge is necessary in order to be able to formulate an opinion or develop a line of thought.

A person gets the power to analyze and assert situations by his knowledge. 

With knowledge, a man can master the techniques of adjusting and accommodating with changes in the surroundings and life situations. 

Knowledge helps a man to face adversities and stay balanced.

It is a key to removing the darkness of ignorance.

Knowledge helps in enhancing more options in the professional career of the individuals.

Knowledge helps in boosting confidence in individuals.

Education and knowledge together can provide better governance to the country.

A nation can have true democracy when the citizens of the country are knowledgeable about both social and economic conditions.

Prospective of Knowledge

Education is a key to success and this statement holds true as being knowledgeable can lead to a successful life. Knowledge will never diminish like any physical entities. In fact, the evolution of civilization in our society has happened due to the increase in the knowledge base of humans. Progress in the medical field has been made possible by developing rational thinking through the use of knowledge. Knowledge is the foremost tool of empowerment. It is the key to success in life. Knowledge, along with the power to think and analyze, differentiate men from animals. Knowledge teaches us to be humble and compassionate. People with very humble backgrounds have risen to power and wealth, on the strength of knowledge and skill. Only this can maintain harmony in the society.

Writing the Knowledge is Power Essay

Writing the Knowledge is Power Essay can be quite easy. Before you start the essay, collect all the details about the proverb to understand its meaning. This way, you can curate a meaningful essay with all the right facts and relevant points. Moreover, you should know the correct format for writing an essay. You can refer to the Knowledge is Power Essay available on Vedantu’s website to understand the format and learn more about the topic. Here are some tips to follow while writing your own essay on Knowledge is Power: 

Gather all the information you can from textbooks to the Internet about knowledge before you begin the essay. 

Once you have collected all the details, start your essay with an insightful introduction to the topic to give the readers an idea of what they will be learning from the essay. 

While writing the main body, do not go off-topic and write irrelevant points. Everything you write should be entirely focused on the topic i.e. Knowledge is Power. 

Add a good conclusion at the end to summarize the entire essay and give your final statement about the topic i.e. Knowledge is Power. 

Once you have completed the essay, proofread it to find mistakes and rectify them immediately. 

If you have time, revise the essay and check whether you can add more powerful points to make your writing more effective.

Points to be included in the Knowledge is Power Essay

Before you start writing your Knowledge is Power Essay, you should have a clear understanding of what points to include. This will save a lot of your time and help you finish the essay in much less time. You can gather all the information regarding the topic i.e. Knowledge is Power, and then start writing. Here are the points that you can add in the essay: 

In the introduction, write mainly about that specific proverb, i.e. Knowledge is Power, to give your reader an idea of what you are reading. 

When you come to the main body, add relevant points and explain your opinions on the topic. For example, you can write about why knowledge is considered powerful or the benefits of knowledge. 

Try adding quotes related to the topic in your essay to make it more impactful. You can use these quotes before your opening statement or support the information in the main body. 

While writing your conclusion, add a broad statement that summarizes the essay. Do not add any new ideas or information in the conclusion. You only have to sum up the entire Knowledge is Power Essay at this stage.    


FAQs on Knowledge is Power Essay

1. How Do You Define Knowledge?

Knowledge means understanding of facts, information, description and skills. It refers to awareness of something gained by education or experience. Here are the three different types of knowledge: 

Explicit Knowledge: It refers to the type of knowledge that can be easily documented, stored, curated, and accessed. For example, information available in textbooks, the internet, etc. 

Implicit Knowledge: The practical application of explicit knowledge is known as implicit knowledge. For example, how to drive a car or how to swim. 

Tacit Knowledge: Any knowledge gained from personal experiences and context is known as tacit knowledge. For example, body language, leadership, humour, etc.  

2. Why is Knowledge Considered Powerful?

Knowledge is powerful because a man can mobilize his life into the right direction. Knowledge can be both creator and destructive of our society. Through knowledge only, one can differentiate between right and wrong and make an informed decision. It also helps you plan your future and takes you on the path to success. With more knowledge, you will be able to overcome your weaknesses and gain more self-confidence. It encourages a positive attitude towards life and keeps you motivated to survive and thrive in the real world.

3. Mention Two Benefits Of Knowledge.

Knowledge is something that you gain throughout your life. It comes with an infinite number of benefits and keeps you on the right track. Knowledge encourages you to act morally and help others in any way possible. Moreover, it boosts your confidence to face any difficulty without being dependent on others. The two benefits of knowledge are:

Knowledge shapes our personality and behavior with others.

Knowledge with proper education can provide better governance to a nation.

4. Why is Less Knowledge Dangerous?

Less knowledge or half knowledge is very dangerous as it leads a man to a benighted condition for the rest of his life. He will never be able to excel in any field to the fullest. Less knowledge can mislead a person into making wrong decisions that have a negative impact on his/her life. Usually, people with less knowledge are only aware of the major aspects of a subject. They do not focus on the minor aspects, which gives them an unbalanced view of that particular subject.

5. From where can I get the Knowledge is Power Essay?

You can get the Knowledge is Power Essay from Vedantu’s official website and mobile app. Vedantu provides you with the Knowledge is Power Essay without charging you anything. You can just visit our website and search for the essay to get access to it. Moreover, we offer a huge variety of study material for the English language to help students get better at the subject. You will find various topics of grammar, letter writing, speech writing, and much more only on Use all this study material to improve your writing skills and gain more knowledge about the English language.


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Essay, Paragraph, Speech on “A Little Knowledge is A Dangerous Thing” Complete Essay for Class 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, Graduation classes.

A Little Knowledge Is A Dangerous Thing

3 Best Essay on “A little knowledge is a dangerous thing”

Essay  No. 01

This proverb cautions us against the dangers of having a little knowledge. A little knowledge about a thing is both defective and harmful. A man with a little knowledge misleads those who follow him. He pretends to be what he is not. He is like a quack that causes the death of many people. He may have the prescription of a few ailments but tries his hand on every type of ailment. He spreads pain and suffering in society. One must have full knowledge of a thing or no knowledge at all. It does not pay to be a Jack of all trades and master of none. Only a person with full knowledge can deliver the goods. He can speak about a thing with authority and confidence. No doubt knowledge is limitless. We can’t master it in all our life. But whatever knowledge we possess must be perfect. A man with a little knowledge is like a frog in the well. We should try to rise above the narrow bounds of our knowledge. Thus the proverb stresses the importance of full knowledge.

Essay  No. 02

A Little Knowledge is a Dangerous

Things According to Pope, knowledge is good but a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. A person with little knowledge is like an empty vessel which makes a lot of noise. Similarly to conceal their weakness, the people who know very little about a subject pose themselves as an authority on the subject. A little knowledge is always accompanied by false pride. It is necessary thus that one is fully trained and qualified before entering a particular field as an untrained and unqualified person can be even dangerous to fellow beings. Although it is true that life is short and knowledge is vast, it still does not mean that one should be content with imperfect knowledge. It is better not to acquire any knowledge at all than a little knowledge for it can be dangerous to others and oneself also.

Essay  No. 03

A little knowledge is a dangerous thing

Man has the curiosity to know more about the things around him. This urge has added meaning to his life. From time immemorial man has been engrossed in the quest for knowledge. This curiosity has led him to get unthinkable. But there have been also times when this brought about the downfall of the man himself.

Little knowledge of a matter is dangerous. A person who has little knowledge often attempts to do what is beyond his ability. He goes boasting about his learning and knowledge. He misjudges things. A mechanic having blunt knowledge of his work may spoil the machinery.

Persons with little knowledge mislead others. They often expose themselves to the ridicule of others. When a man boasts of himself, foolish people consider him a great man. They believe in whatever he says. They attribute many things to him which he does not know. He enjoys a reputation, which he does not deserve.

A little knowledge is very dangerous in this scientific era. With a little knowledge of medicine, he may prescribe the wrong medicines and diagnose the patient wrongly. An engineering firm may save money by giving employment to underqualified engineers. But such a firm loses a hundred times more through wastage and inefficiency. A railway engine driver who is not an expert or a pilot who knows just a little about aeronautics may bring disaster on so many passengers.

The teachers whose knowledge of his subject is not thorough may prove to be a source of incalculable harm to his students. A political leader who has little knowledge about the economic, social, and political problems of his country may prove harmful.

Alfred Nobel revealed the concept behind the dynamite to be used for the betterment of humanity. He could not realize that it could be used for destructive purposes also. In technical matters, mastery over the subject is a must. In some cases, a little knowledge can be helpful but is only where practical use of knowledge is not involved. Limited knowledge may invite many troubles. It does not contribute to the betterment of society. It makes a man dogmatic. By blowing his own trumpet, he propagates his ignorance. People having little knowledge are rude and discourteous. They make a lot of noise while boasting.

We should always try to learn more and more about a subject. So long we do not know fully about a particular subject, we should not venture to give any opinion about it.

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by Neil Burger

Limitless analysis.

These notes were contributed by members of the GradeSaver community. We are thankful for their contributions and encourage you to make your own.

Written by people who wish to remain anonymous

"Limitless" is a movie that explores the human cognitive possibilities, and raises the question of how a person would use the power given to them, and what consequences it might entail.

The movie's protagonist is Eddie Morra , an unsuccessful writer who is suffering writer's block and getting dumped from his long-time girlfriend. Eddie suddenly stumbles upon his ex-wife's brother on the street. They have coffee together, and Vernon tells him that he has a solution for his troubles. The solution is a pill that enables the complete usage of the brain. Eddie, knowing that Vernon is a drug dealer, is reluctant but, nevertheless, takes the pill.

Eddie takes the pill and a whole new world opens up to him. He is able to use his abilities to the maximum. He knows what he needs to do and knows how to do it. His book as well is finally finished.

The next day the pill wears off and Eddie visits Vernon for more. After he returns to Vernon's apartment, who sent him on some errand, Eddie discovers Vernon dead. Before the police comes, Eddie finds some cash and a whole bag of the NZT pills.

Eddie uses the pills daily. He grows more and more successful, and meets important people among who is Carl Van Loon, a businessman involved with the stock market. They partner up, and Eddie is hopeful for his future. He even gets back together with Lindy .

Eddie soon starts to feel the side effects of the pill. He loses hours of his days, not knowing what he was doing. The guy who loaned him money wants it back, and in one of their confrontations, the criminal called Gennady takes the pill as well. He starts demanding a supply from Eddie. Eddie notices that he's being followed by a man in a tan suit, who later attacks Lindy while she is on the way to get him the pills.

Eddie has a conversation with his ex-wife Melissa as well, who reveals that all the people who've been taking the pills suffered horrible consequences. They aren't able to use their strength and abilities to function normally are damaged. Melissa is one of those people. He decides to use the pills more cautiously.

Van Loon and Eddie set up a meeting with a businessman called Atwood. Atwood fails to join the signing of the important contract between them because he falls ill. Eddie discovers that Atwood is one of the people who've been taking the pill as well, and is now suffering the consequences. Atwood dies, and Eddie discovers that the man in the tan coat is his worker.

Eddie returns to his apartment after realizing that someone pocketed his pills and sent him a package containing severed hands of his bodyguards. Gennady and his men come there demanding more of the pills, and try to kill him. Eddie retaliates and kills them. He meets with the man in the tan coat who gives him the supply of the pills.

The movie's ending scene is Eddie in the future. He became a senator. He receives a visit by Van Loon, who demands from Eddie to work for him, threatening him with the knowledge about the pills. Eddie reveals that he no longer uses them. He discovered a way to use their benefits without the side effects. Defeated, Van Loon gets back into his car, and Eddie goes to have dinner with Lindy.

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Study Guide for Limitless

Limitless study guide contains a biography of director Neil Burger, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.

  • About Limitless
  • Limitless Summary
  • Character List
  • Director's Influence

Essays for Limitless

Limitless essays are academic essays for citation. These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of Limitless, directed by Neil Burger.

  • Signing deals with the devil of neo-liberalism: An analysis of Neil Burger’s Limitless (2011)

Wikipedia Entries for Limitless

  • Introduction

knowledge is limitless essay


  1. Zhuangzi Quote: “Human life is limited, but knowledge is limitless. To

    knowledge is limitless essay

  2. Zhuangzi Quote: “Human life is limited, but knowledge is limitless. To

    knowledge is limitless essay

  3. Zhuangzi Quote: “Human life is limited, but knowledge is limitless. To

    knowledge is limitless essay

  4. Essay on Knowledge

    knowledge is limitless essay

  5. With imagination, the knowledge one can attain is limitless. ️

    knowledge is limitless essay

  6. Zhuangzi Quote: “Human life is limited, but knowledge is limitless. To

    knowledge is limitless essay


  1. Essay on Knowledge is Power: Samples in 100, 200, 300 Words

    Dec 15, 2023 5 minute read 10 shares ' Knowledge is power' phrase is derived from a Latin term, which is attributed to Sir Francis Bacon, a well-known essayist of all times. Knowledge is power has been accepted widely and timelessly as it underscores the significance of knowledge in empowering people, societies and countries .

  2. Some Thoughts On Knowledge And Knowledge Limits

    Knowledge is limited. Knowledge deficits are unlimited. Knowing something-all of the things you don't know collectively is a form of knowledge. There are many forms of knowledge-let's think of knowledge in terms of physical weights, for now. Vague awareness is a 'light' form of knowledge: low weight and intensity and duration and urgency.

  3. Human intelligence: have we reached the limit of knowledge?

    Cumulative knowledge. Most importantly, we can extend our own minds to those of our fellow human beings. What makes our species unique is that we are capable of culture, in particular cumulative ...

  4. What Are The Limits of Knowledge?

    Sir Karl Popper developed a theory of three worlds, in which World 2 is all subjective (personal) knowledge, while World 3 is all knowledge existing independent of individual minds, such as stories, theories, mathematical constructs, scientific concepts, cultural beliefs, and intellectual creations.

  5. Imagination

    For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand." Through imagination, people can ...

  6. What Is Knowledge According To Plato Philosophy Essay

    Plato had a strong belief that what we know in this life is recollected knowledge that was obtained in a former life, and that our soul has all the knowledge in this world, and we learn new things by recollecting what the soul already knew in the first place. Plato offers three observations of knowledge and he puts Socrates to reject all three ...

  7. Essay on Knowledge for Students and Children

    500+ Words Essay on Knowledge Knowledge is understanding and awareness of something. It refers to the information, facts, skills, and wisdom acquired through learning and experiences in life. Knowledge is a very wide concept and has no end. Acquiring knowledge involves cognitive processes, communication, perception, and logic.

  8. Theory of Knowledge (TOK)

    Extended Essay . Prerequisites. Nil. Course Description The Nature of the Extended Essay. In the Diploma Programme, the Extended Essay is the prime example of a piece of work where the student has the opportunity to show knowledge, understanding and enthusiasm about a topic of his or her choice.

  9. Quote by Leo Tolstoy: "Knowledge is limitless. Therefore, there is a m..."

    Nov 21, 2018 10:59PM Leo Tolstoy — 'Knowledge is limitless. Therefore, there is a minuscule difference between those who know a lot and those who know very little.'

  10. Knowledge and its Limits

    Knowledge and its Limits Timothy Williamson Published: 10 October 2002 Cite Permissions Share Abstract The book develops a conception of epistemology in which the notion of knowledge is explanatorily fundamental.

  11. EDUC 327 The Teacher and The School Curriculum

    I realized that knowledge is truly limitless. What I learned from my lower years were not enough. Most of the people tend to stop learning after their educational degrees, which is contrary to the concept of "learn and grow" each day. As a curricularist in the future, I should enroll at my graduate school to advance my learning for the reason ...

  12. Faustian Economics, by Wendell Berry

    Raphael is saying, with angelic circumlocution, that knowledge without wisdom, limitless knowledge, is not worth a fart; he is not a humorless archangel. But he also is saying that knowledge without measure, knowledge that the human mind cannot appropriately use, is mortally dangerous. ... Berry's essay "Faustian Economics" appeared in ...

  13. knowledge is limitless essay

    English: The Limitless Knowledge is at. English: The Limitless Knowledge. Jul 7, 2020󰞋󰟠. 󰟝. Many essays is here .... at a un humanly rate and have much more knowledge than anyone around him.... I realized that knowledge is truly limitless. What I learned from my lower years were not enough. Most of the people tend to stop learning ...

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  15. The "online brain": how the Internet may be changing our cognition

    The impact of the Internet across multiple aspects of modern society is clear. However, the influence that it may have on our brain structure and functioning remains a central topic of investigation. Here we draw on recent psychological, psychiatric and neuroimaging findings to examine several key hypotheses on how the Internet may be changing ...

  16. On Being Limitless Through Creative Writing

    Each skyscraper, framed by the park's trees through various yoga poses, are reminders of the "I am limitless" mantra. By the time my hands arrive yet again at my heart center and I greet my neighbor with a cheerful "namaste"—a signal that the yoga practice is nearing its end—I am rejuvenated and yearning to exercise a muscle I ...

  17. Essay on Knowledge is Power for Students

    Knowledge is a Bottomless Ocean Knowledge is like a bottomless ocean. The more you dive deep into it, the deeper it will appear to you. Thus, there are no limits in the world of knowledge. When you desire knowledge, you thirst for riches unknown. Once you taste the nectar of knowledge, you cannot restrain your desire for it.

  18. Knowledge Is Power Essay for Students and Children

    500+ Words Essay on Knowledge is Power. Knowledge Is Power Essay- Knowledge is something that will serve you your whole life. The most powerful thing in the world is knowledge because it can create and destroy life on earth.Moreover, knowledge helps us distinguish between humans and animals.Knowledge is the ability to use your knowledge to help others.

  19. Why Employees Don't Share Knowledge with Each Other

    Companies want employees to share what they know. Research has found that this leads to greater creativity, more innovation, and better performance, for individuals, teams, and organizations. Yet ...

  20. Knowledge is Power Essay

    Essay on Knowledge is Power. Knowledge means understanding of something such as facts, information, description and skills. It is the source of power to man and this distinguishes him from other creatures of the universe. Though man is physically weaker than many animals, for he cannot see as far as an eagle, nor carry heavy loads as some animals.

  21. 3 Best Essay on "A little knowledge is a dangerous thing"

    No doubt knowledge is limitless. We can't master it in all our life. But whatever knowledge we possess must be perfect. A man with a little knowledge is like a frog in the well. We should try to rise above the narrow bounds of our knowledge. Thus the proverb stresses the importance of full knowledge. Essay No. 02 A Little Knowledge is a Dangerous

  22. Limitless Essays

    Limitless essays are academic essays for citation. These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of Limitless, directed by Neil Burger. ... Limitless. To achieve power, knowledge and material wealth in this global age, people are signing deals with the Devil. In this regard, the key question should then be, who ...

  23. Limitless Study Guide: Analysis

    Written by people who wish to remain anonymous. "Limitless" is a movie that explores the human cognitive possibilities, and raises the question of how a person would use the power given to them, and what consequences it might entail. The movie's protagonist is Eddie Morra, an unsuccessful writer who is suffering writer's block and getting ...