Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know

Adam Grant | 2021
Posted in: Bridging Divides Psychology Social Psychology
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Adam Grant, organizational psychologist at Wharton, makes the case for being ready to rethink our beliefs in the face of new information. This is a very readable book, with great lessons for dealing with ideas that contradict our own, and it includes an “Actions for Impact” chapter at the end that summarizes the authors top thirty takeaways, including:

Think like a scientist. As you start forming an opinion, treat it as a hypothesis and test it with data.

Define your identity in terms of values, not opinions. It’s easier to avoid getting stuck to your past beliefs if you don’t become attached to them as part of your present self-concept. See yourself as someone who values curiosity, learning, mental flexibility, and searching for knowledge.

Seek out information that goes against your views.

When you find out you’ve made a mistake, take it as a sign that you’ve just discovered something new.

Learn something new from each person you meet.

Build a challenge network, not just a support network. It’s helpful to have cheerleaders encouraging you, but you also need critics to challenge you.

Question how rather than why. When people describe why they hold extreme views, they often intensify their commitment and double down. When they try to explain how they would make their views a reality, they often realize the limits of their understanding and start to temper some of their opinions.

Complexify contentious topics. There are more than two sides to every story.