Expert-lay communication

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Expert-lay communication is the interaction between experts and laypeople . Specifically, it is about conveying expert knowledge to laypeople in such a way that they are also able to apply this knowledge sensibly. This requires that the terms used by experts be brought closer to the understanding of the layman and that the layman at least the basics of the relevant subject matter.

Expert-lay communication is related to knowledge transfer and can therefore be seen as a central topic of the information and knowledge society . Sigurd Wichter and Gerd Antos launched the discipline of transfer science as a research area for knowledge transfer . Joachim Grzega advocates making knowledge transfer a topic and implementing it as quickly as possible in all school and university subjects .

Special forms of expert-lay communication are the PUSH movement ( Public Understanding of Science and Humanities ), science journalism and popular science literature .

Phases of expert-lay communication

The psychologists Riklef Rambow and Rainer Bromme differentiate between three phases of expert-lay communication:

  1. Explanation of concepts, processes and fundamentals, even if they are no longer visible in the specific problem solution
  2. Radical selection and restructuring from a lay perspective
  3. Finding new formulations, coining new terms , choosing good examples and images and thus establishing references to the everyday understanding of the layperson

Examples of possible communication problems between experts and laypeople

  • The attending physician must explain the diagnosis and the therapy he believes is necessary to the patient to such an extent that the patient can give his consent with sufficient information
  • The specialist department must give the management sufficient information so that it can then make necessary decisions from an economic point of view
  • Scientists must pass on their knowledge to politicians in such a way that they can react sensibly (see climate change discussion )

Discontinuation of expert-lay communication and emergence of social conflicts

Conflicts can arise in a variety of ways within expert-lay communication, for example when laypeople no longer recognize the authority of experts. Behavioral patterns and causes have been studied variously in social psychology . Is known u. a. the Dunning-Kruger effect described in 1999 .

In the sociology of disaster positive interaction and the transition to be from the demolition of social conflict between experts and lay people from Lars Clausen the emergence of disasters derived.


  • Rainer Bromme, Regina Jucks, Riklef Rambow: Knowledge communication across subject boundaries: A training program. In: Business Psychology. Issue 3/2003, pp. 94-102.
  • Rainer Bromme, Regina Jucks, Riklef Rambow: Expert-lay communication in knowledge management. In: G. Reinmann, Heinz Mandl (ed.): The human being in knowledge management: Psychological concepts for a better understanding and handling of knowledge. Verlag Hogrefe, Göttingen 2004, pp. 114–126.
  • Albert Busch: lay communication. Verticality studies on medical expert-lay communications. Dissertation, Münster (Westphalia), 1993. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang (German studies on language and cultural history, 26).
  • Lars Clausen : Real dangers and disaster sociological theory. In: Lars Clausen, Elke M. Geenen , Elísio Macamo (eds.): Horrible social processes. LIT-Verlag, Münster 2003, ISBN 382586832X .
  • Joachim Grzega: Socioeconomic Linguistics (or Linguistic Socioeconomics) –a New Field of European and Global Research and Teaching. In: Journal for EuroLinguistiX Volume 2, 2005, pp. 19–43.
  • Riklef Rambow, Rainer Bromme: What Schön's 'reflective practitioner' could learn from communicating with laypeople. In: GH Neuweg (Ed.): Knowledge - Ability - Reflection: Selected relationship determinations. Studienverlag, Innsbruck 2000, pp. 245-263.
  • Sigurd Wichter : Expert and lay vocabulary. Outline of a Lexicology of Verticality. [Series German Linguistics 144], Verlag Niemeyer, Tübingen 1994.
  • Sigurd Wichter, Gerd Antos (Ed.): Knowledge transfer between experts and lay people: Outline of a transfer science. In: [Transferwissenschaften 1]. Verlag Lang, Frankfurt (Main) 2001.

Individual evidence

  1. Riklef Rambow & Rainer Bromme : What Schön's "Reflective Practitioner" could learn through communication with laypeople , heading 5. What knowledge is required for communication with laypeople? . In: (Ed.): Knowledge - Ability - Reflection. Selected relationship provisions . Studienverlag, Innsbruck and Vienna 2000, pp. 201–219, available online on a website of the Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität ( Memento from October 19, 2004 in the Internet Archive )