Jonah Lehrer: The virtue of the outside perspective

Jonah Lehrer talks about the importance of the outside perspective in this video from his appearance at Poptech, describing how people "just on the outside of a domain" are often better at solving problems in that domain. Why should this be so? Paddy Harrington at Fast Company:

We have a saying at Bruce Mau Design: 'Amateurs going in, experts going out.' For a long time, we struggled to articulate the benefit of being a 'nonexpert' in a field. We often talk about 'fresh eyes' in design. When you’re working too long with anything, by definition, you can’t 'see' it anymore. It helps to get a person unfamiliar with the work to give a fresh perspective. Well, it turns out that this is a fundamental pillar of innovation: Our habits form what’s called a ventral route. It’s like a rut in a road. It gets so deep that you simply can’t get out without outside help. Using a story about InnoCentive as a starting point, Lehrer describes the paradox of expertise in that it can sometimes become an obstacle to creative problem solving:

The IdeaFestival specializes in fresh perspectives.

Wayne