Procedural knowledge  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Procedural knowledge, also known as imperative knowledge, is the knowledge exercised in the performance of some task. See below for the specific meaning of this term in cognitive psychology and intellectual property law.

Procedural knowledge, or implicit knowledge is different from other kinds of knowledge, such as declarative knowledge, in that it can be directly applied to a task. For instance, the procedural knowledge one uses to solve problems differs from the declarative knowledge one possesses about problem solving because this knowledge is formed by doing.

In some legal systems, such procedural knowledge has been considered the intellectual property of a company, and can be transferred when that company is purchased.

One limitation of procedural knowledge is its job-dependence; thus it tends to be less general than declarative knowledge. For example, a computer expert might have knowledge about a computer algorithm in multiple languages, or in pseudo-code, whereas a Visual Basic programmer might only know about a specific implementation of that algorithm, written in Visual Basic. Thus the 'hands-on' expertise and experience of the Visual Basic programmer might be of commercial value only to Microsoft job-shops, for example.

One advantage of procedural knowledge is that it can involve more senses, such as hands-on experience, practice at solving problems, understanding of the limitations of a specific solution, etc. Thus procedural knowledge can frequently eclipse theory.

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Procedural knowledge" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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