Information vs Knowledge
The words Information and Knowledge are considered as synonymous by most people, even though there are differences between them. Let us first comprehend what each term denotes, so that the differences become much clearer. Information refers to a communicative idea or anything that is told. On the other hand, knowledge is something that is gained by experience, through reading and observation. This is the main difference between information and knowledge. Through this article let us examine the difference between the two terms while gaining a better understanding of each term.
What is Information?
The word Information can be defined as facts that have been learned by an individual. For an example, imagine the case of a student who studies for an exam. It is natural for the child to learn a lot of facts in order to pass the exam. However, storing a lot of information does not guarantee that a person is knowledgeable. Also, it is interesting to note that the word ‘information’ is often followed by the prepositions ‘on’ and ‘about’ as in the sentences presented below:
- He got some information about the case.
- Do you have any information on the subject?
In both the sentences mentioned above, the word ‘information’ suggests the meaning of ‘something that has come to be known through communication’. We can gain information through different sources. These can be books, newspapers, the internet, etc. Today, we live in a world full of information and a variety of sources to gain information as well. A person can have a lot of information about a certain topic, but this does not imply that the person can make a sound judgment based on the information available unless he has the necessary experience and familiarity. This can be understood through the role of knowledge. We must bear in mind, having all the necessary information can assist an individual to make a good decision because he is aware of all the possibilities. Now let us move on to an understanding go the word ‘Knowledge’.
What is Knowledge?
Knowledge can be defined as awareness or familiarity gained by experience of a person. It refers to the familiarity of a subject. Let us take an amateur and an expert. The amateur may have all the necessary information just as the expert. But having all the information does not always lead to success because there are certain aspects that have to be learned through familiarity and experience. This is the advantage that the expert has. He is well equipped with the information as well as the familiarity of the field. It is also interesting to note that the word ‘knowledge’ often is followed by the preposition ‘of’ as in the sentences
- He has a sound knowledge of the subject.
- Do you have any knowledge of it?
In both the sentences, the use of the word ‘knowledge’ suggests the experiential familiarity or expertise related to a subject or a fact. Sometimes the word ‘knowledge’ is used to refer to a person’s range of perception or knowing information as in the sentence ‘it is not within his knowledge’. In this sentence, the use of the word ‘knowledge’ suggests that the truth is not within the range of the person’s knowledge or understanding. Hence, the word ‘knowledge’ is sometimes used in the sense of ‘understanding’. It is always true that knowledge is gained only by experience whereas information is gained by communication. This highlights that there are differences between information and knowledge. Now let us summarize the difference in the following manner.
What is the Difference Between Information and Knowledge?
- Information refers to a communicative idea or anything that is told whereas Knowledge is something that is gained by experience, through reading and observation.
- the word ‘information’ is often followed by the prepositions ‘on’ and ‘about’ whereas the word ‘knowledge’ often is followed by the preposition ‘of’.
- Knowledge is gained only by experience whereas information is gained by communication.
1. Representation of the Internet by Vector Background [CC BY 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons
2. Teacher by the U.S. Census Bureau (the U.S. Census Bureau Facts for Feature Photos) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons