Experts Weigh In On 25 Simple Concepts That Are Often Misunderstood By The Public

Published 2 months ago

Engaging in a specific field of study or work offers a unique perspective, gradually unravelling its intricacies until they become second nature. The journey toward expertise, often estimated at around 10,000 hours according to a popular theory, unveils the nuances and connections within that realm. Even the most basic concepts, which seem obvious to the initiated, can appear as if written in an unfamiliar language to outsiders.

Redditor ‘StaleTheBread’ sparked an intriguing conversation by asking the online community about simple concepts from their respective fields of study that might baffle the average person. As you peruse the list below, you’ll discover a fascinating array of insights, shedding light on the subtle yet often misunderstood aspects of different fields. It’s a captivating glimpse into the varied worlds of knowledge and a reminder of the wealth of expertise that exists within the online community.

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#1 Correlation is not causation.

Image source: Canadian47, Key Notez/Pexels (not the actual photo)

Just because 2 things change together doesn’t mean one causes the other. For example ice creams sales and drowning deaths are correlated. It could mean possibly 1) eating ice cream cause people to drown 2) when people drown the survivors eat ice cream to make themselves feel better 3) both happen more often in the summer time 4+)…other possibilities.

This is used ALL the time when trying to push anti-science agendas.

#2 EVERYTHING has to be proofread, yes even if it’s only a 3 word sentence

Image source: chinchenping, Andrew Neel/Pexels (not the actual photo)

#3 Vaccines don’t cause autism.

Image source: Actually_zoohiggle, (not the actual photo)

Vaccines don’t put a protective bubble around you guaranteeing you will never fall ill again.

Vaccines don’t contain microchips and nanobots.

Vaccines DO lessen the severity of infectious disease and shorten the length of illness.

Vaccines prime your immune system to fight the disease using its natural functions.

Vaccines require over 95% coverage in the population to protect vulnerable people who can’t be vaccinated.

Vaccines save lives.

Get your flu shot.


Image source: CheddarCheeseCheetah, Pixabay/Pexels (not the actual photo)

People are not made to live forever and modern medicine, while amazing, cannot make miracles happen. So many times we have a patient who is on a ventilator and unable to be taken off. Plus their kidneys are shot and they are requiring continuous bedside dialysis. Plus their heart is failing and they are on 2-4 continuous infusions of medication to make it function properly and prevent circulatory collapse. That is multi-system organ failure. Even if we can get one system back, the chances of a meaningful recovery are very slim. If Iturn off any of my machines or a bag of one of their meds runs dry they’re gonna die….because they are on a huge amount of life support, but the family still will be thinking they’re gonna walk and talk out of the hospital.

And, even if they do live, a lot of them are going to get a trach and feeding tube and then go on to live the rest of their lives in a facility where they still need 24hr care. Where they may or may not still be ventilator dependent. Where they likely cannot speak and definitely cannot eat or drink anything by mouth. Some will never, for the rest of their lives be able to safely eat or drink by mouth again. Many will be incontinent and bedbound and likely never regain their strength back. If you ever have a family member in the ICU on life support think long and hard about it because a lot of what we do to sustain life is literal torture.


Image source: tenehemia, Juan Pablo Serrano Arenas/Pexels (not the actual photo)

There’s two main reasons that when you cook a restaurant favorite at home it doesn’t taste as good:

1. The person who made the dish used all of the things your doctor told you to avoid. It’s full of butter and salt and all that good stuff. When you substitute healthy options it doesn’t taste as good. Or at least it doesn’t taste the same.

2. The people who made your dish have done it hundreds of times. Or thousands of times. You can get very good at a dish cooking it at home for yourself, but mastering a dish takes a kind of repetition that is rarely seen outside of a professional kitchen.

#6 Most of what we call mental disorders in the DSM 5 would disappear from the adult population if we somehow magically eliminated early childhood trauma, neglect, and abuse

Image source: whatdidyousay509, Darya Sannikova/Pexels (not the actual photo)

#7 Yelling back at someone who is already agitated (crying, shaking, screaming) will not deescalate them. (My expertise is crisis)

Image source: OptmstcExstntlst, Tima Miroshnichenko/Pexels (not the actual photo)

#8 Blind people having vision. Only something like 10% see nothing (not black—*nothing.*) The rest all have varying degrees of vision impairment, all for different reasons. A lot of our students have light perception at the very least. People are always surprised by that.

Image source: Former-Finish4653, MART PRODUCTION/Pexels (not the actual photo)


Image source: SuperordinateYam, Element5 Digital/Pexels (not the actual photo)

Librarian here – if you want your library to have new books, you must be prepared to get rid of the same amount of old books.

Because I have to dispose of books secretly, as the public just don’t seem to realise that we can’t house a collection that grows by 10s or 100s of thousands of books every year.

(For the pedantic, I said “amount” rather than “number” for a reason – books and archives are commonly measured in linear meters or kilometers, as that tells us how much storage space is required.)

#10 A deep breath presses the diaphragm onto the intestines. Timing meals is important in opera because proper breath support can push out turds. You have to perfectly time your meals because diaphragmatic breathing will sometimes push out a turd mid performance.

Image source: Gladysfartz, fauxels/Pexels (not the actual photo)

#11 Communication isn’t what you’re saying. It’s what the other person is understanding.

Image source: _pkthunder, Buro Millennial/Pexels (not the actual photo)


Image source: 2074red2074, Ishara Kasthuriarachchi/Pexels

Humans didn’t evolve from chimpanzees. Chimpanzees are our nearest living relative species. Humans and chimpanzees both evolved from the same ancient species, which no longer exists in that form but does still exist in the form of humans and chimpanzees. The fact that chimpanzees still exist does not disprove that humans evolved from other apes.

#13 911 dispatch, when you call me and I ask you questions, I don’t need a life story for each one. A simple yes or no will suffice. If it doesn’t, I will ask you to clarify.

Image source: ba_cam, MART PRODUCTION/Pexels (not the actual photo)

#14 Most dogs and cats are the way they are, because you are the way you are.

Image source: Teh_Hammerer, Alexander Grey/Pexels (not the actual photo)

#15 How GMOs are not different from any other plants/animals. And what you “know” about them is 95% green propaganda: either a straight lie or some half-truth so distorted and taken out of context, that it is misinformation at best.

Image source: Durumbuzafeju, Artem Balashevsky/Pexels (not the actual photo)

#16 Freedom of speech only protects you from government, not private, action and is always subject to “time, place and manner” restrictions. It also doesn’t protect you from the social or economic consequences of saying mean, crazy or racist s**t.

Image source: BookGirl67, Matheus Bertelli/Pexels (not the actual photo)

#17 There is no such thing as not having an accent. Every human who speaks has an accent. And there is no such thing as a “neutral accent”.

Image source: Christompaman, Steshka Willems/Pexels (not the actual photo)

#18 Orthodontist here. Making braces “tighter” DOES NOT make the teeth move faster. Have patients daily asking me to make the brace even tighter because they can “take it” and finish faster as a result.

Image source: Frequent_Influence48, cottonbro studio/Pexels (not the actual photo)

Teeth move quickest and most efficiently with very low, sustained force application.

It’s like trying to get yourself out of quicksand – yanking with all your might leaves you in exactly the same place but slow, continuous gently force gets you to where you want to go.

Usually after explaining this, they shrug as if I’m trying to pull one over on them and proceed to ask me to make it tighter next time.


Image source: Eggggsterminate, cottonbro studio/Pexels (not the actual photo)

I studied experimental psychology:
1) your memory is very unreliable and it is very easy to ‘remember’ things that never happened.
2) eye witnesses are also very unreliable because of the memory thing but also because our senses are not reliable.

In essence people are not computers :)

#20 In meteorology: A 30% chance of rain. We are 100% confident that 30% of the area will see rain on that day. Not 30% chance of it raining

Image source: radiopelican, Sid Ali/Pexels (not the actual photo)

#21 Anthrozoology MSc. We need to be kinder to animals.

Image source: MISTXRick, Humphrey Muleba/Pexels (not the actual photo)


Image source: Marlowe_Cayce, Karolina Grabowska/Pexels (not the actual photo)

Many people use drugs due to trauma. The culture surrounding drugs perpetuates the trauma. Even if someone did not start out using drugs due to trauma, they most often will acquire it due to the nature of drug use, the circumstances surrounding it, and how people who use drugs are often targets of violence, especially youth and women.

This is not to excuse behavior or actions, this is just a gentle reminder that your sister/brother/cousin whatever who says they were “hurt” by a relative, and they are dismissed and called a liar, only because they are a drug user? It’s most likely they are a drug user specifically because they were hurt.

It is a natural human reaction to want to avoid pain or minimize it, even emotional pain. Yes watching fentanyl zombies sucks a*s, yes having meth addicts screaming at demons is weird AF but it is never as easy as someone just stopping using. To successfully do that they need not only to want it, but to deal with lived trauma, and to have support systems in place to be successful.

And even what I am saying here is a gross oversimplification.

#23 My patients are 95% “why would you call an ambulance for this” and 5% “why the f**k didn’t you call an ambulance for this sooner”

Image source: Gned11, Pavel Danilyuk/Pexels (not the actual photo)

#24 Some people learn faster than others.

Image source: KokonutMonkey, Tranmautritam/Pexels (not the actual photo)

#25 I’m a plumber, people don’t understand what can and can’t go down a toilet.

Image source: lurcherzzz, Max Rahubovskiy/Pexels (not the actual photo)

Shanilou Perera

Shanilou has always loved reading and learning about the world we live in. While she enjoys fictional books and stories just as much, since childhood she was especially fascinated by encyclopaedias and strangely enough, self-help books. As a kid, she spent most of her time consuming as much knowledge as she could get her hands on and could always be found at the library. Now, she still enjoys finding out about all the amazing things that surround us in our day-to-day lives and is blessed to be able to write about them to share with the whole world as a profession.

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experts, field experts, industry experts, misunderstood concepts, public misunderstandings, simple concepts
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