I'm sure I came across a "syndrome" to describe this. Say you're an expert in physics, and read an newspaper article where the reporter has completely misunderstood the Large Hadron Collider. You laugh and say "this person has no clue what they are talking about!"

You turn the page, and read an article about something you know less about, say, economic theory. "Hmmm, interesting!" you think, immediately forgetting that the reporter may have got this wrong too.


3 Answers 3


I finally found what I was looking for:

The Gell-Mann Amnesia effect, a name coined by Michael Crichton:

“Briefly stated, the Gell-Mann Amnesia effect is as follows. You open the newspaper to an article on some subject you know well. In Murray [Gell-Mann]'s case, physics. In mine, show business. You read the article and see the journalist has absolutely no understanding of either the facts or the issues. Often, the article is so wrong it actually presents the story backward—reversing cause and effect. I call these the "wet streets cause rain" stories. Paper's full of them.

In any case, you read with exasperation or amusement the multiple errors in a story, and then turn the page to national or international affairs, and read as if the rest of the newspaper was somehow more accurate about Palestine than the baloney you just read. You turn the page, and forget what you know.”


"biased criticism"


bias (noun)

  1. a tendency to believe that some [...] ideas [...] are better than others that usually results in treating some of them unfairly

The Free Dictionary:

tr.v. bi·ased, [...]

  1. [...] influence[d] in a particular, typically unfair direction.

If you're looking for the tendency to believe that the prevalence of errors on topic 1 is greater on topic 2, I think you're looking for "selection bias".

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