The Washington Post
Originally published July 20, 2019
Here is an excerpt:
The lesson is clear enough: Most of us are probably not as open-minded as we think. That is unfortunate and something we can change. A hallmark of teams that make good predictions about the world around them is something psychologists call “active open mindedness.” People who exhibit this trait do something, alone or together, as a matter of routine that rarely occurs to most of us: They imagine their own views as hypotheses in need of testing.
They aim not to bring people around to their perspective but to encourage others to help them disprove what they already believe. This is not instinctive behavior. Most of us, armed with a Web browser, do not start most days by searching for why we are wrong.
As our divisive politics daily feed our tilt toward confirmation bias, it is worth asking if this instinct to think we know enough is hardening into a habit of poor judgment. Consider that, in a study during the run-up to the Brexit vote, a small majority of both Remainers and Brexiters could correctly interpret made-up statistics about the efficacy of a rash-curing skin cream. But when the same voters were given similarly false data presented as if it indicated that immigration either increased or decreased crime, hordes of Brits suddenly became innumerate and misinterpreted statistics that disagreed with their beliefs.
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