Monday, August 22, 2011

Why you think you know more/better than everybody else...

I don't know if the author's term for this particular phenomena, Asymmetric Insight, in a generally recognized term or not, but I think we are all generally familiar with the idea.

Reading this article reminded me of a particular episode of the sit-com "Head of the Class" (no, not the Moscow episode), where the students were participating in a debate. One of the IHP's best debaters was the ultra-Conservative, Alan Pinkard. However, Alan was picked to defend an ultra-liberal position that was clearly against his character. He actually managed to win the debate and he explained (paraphrasing), "Well... I worked on my argument until I thought I could convince myself... " (or something like that). The point being: if he was able to force himself to defend an argument that's directly contrary to his own personal beliefs.... and to do it well enough that he could convince himself that it was a reasonable position, then certainly someone with less bias would find it convincing.

This had an impression on me... obviously.... I still remember it. I decided after watching that to try and follow that advice. Later on in school, whenever I was asked to write an opinion paper on a topic, I would first decide what my personal leanings were... and then I would intentionally write to defend the other side.

I can't say that I've consciously applied that logic in sometime, but I probably need to do it more.... we all probably do.

Read more after the break
Amplify’d from

The Misconception:  You celebrate diversity and respect others’ points of view.

The Truth: You are driven to create and form groups and then believe others are wrong just because they are others.


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