Déformation professionnelle

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Déformation professionnelle (French: [defɔʁmasjɔ̃ pʁɔfɛsjɔnɛl], professional deformation or job conditioning) is a tendency to look at things from the point of view of one's own profession or special expertise, rather than from a broader or humane perspective. It is often translated as "professional deformation", though French déformation can also be translated as "distortion". The implication is that professional training, and its related socialization, often result in a distortion of the way one views the world.[1] Nobel laureate Alexis Carrel observed, "Every specialist, owing to a well-known professional bias, believes that he understands the entire human being, while in reality he only grasps a tiny part of him."[2]

As a term in psychology, it was likely coined by the Belgian sociologist Daniel Warnotte [de],[3] or Russian-American sociologist Pitirim Sorokin.[citation needed]

A similar colloquial term, nerdview, describes a similar tendency.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Julia Bönisch, "Déformation professionnelle: Beruflich bedingte Missbildung" Süddeutsche Zeitung (November 30, 2007). Retrieved March 5, 2011 (in German)
  2. ^ Carrel, Alexis (1939). "Chapter 2" (PDF). Man, The Unknown. New York: Harper & Brothers. Retrieved 28 June 2017.
  3. ^ Merton, Robert K. (1957). Social Theory and Social Structure. Glencoe, IL: Free Press. p. 198. Archived from the original on 2012-12-27. The transition to a study of the negative aspects of bureaucracy is afforded by the application of Veblen's concept of 'trained incapacity', Dewey’s notion of 'occupational psychosis' or Warnotte's view of 'professional deformation'.
  4. ^ Geoffrey K. Pullum (26 Jun 2008). "Language Log – Nerdview". Retrieved 27 Jun 2020.

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