Today’s show is another book of the month book review. Our book this month is a brand new book called “Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know” by Adam Grant. Adam is a deep thinker. His book is a deep exploration of the question. “What do we know?”
Adam Grant is an organizational psychologist at Wharton. He’s one of TED’s most popular speakers and his books have sold millions of copies. His talks have been view more than 25 million times and his podcast called Work-Life is great. I listen to it regularly.
He’s been recognized as one of the world’s 10 most influential management thinkers. He’s a graduate of Harvard and completed his PhD from the University of Michigan.
Adam’s book Think Again examines numerous questions like:
What does it mean to be mentally fit? Normally we think that intelligence is a prerequisite. Intelligence is traditionally viewed as the ability to think and learn.
Yet in our current world, there may be another set of cognitive skills that might matter more: the ability to rethink and unlearn.
He examines how opinions and beliefs are formed. He looks at the history of research on the topic and how faced with the exact same circumstances, some people get attached to their thoughts. Their very identity is wrapped up in their opinion.
For others, they exhibit the ability to let go of opinions, to change their mind, and to remain attached to principles and values rather than beliefs and opinions.
Being wrong is often burdened with social stigma, with weakness. This is particularly true for men. So rather than believing what we see, we see what we believe.
In psychology there are at least two biases that drive this pattern. One is confirmation bias: seeing what we expect to see. The other is desirability bias: seeing what we want to see. These biases don’t just prevent us from applying our intelligence. They can actually contort our intelligence into a weapon against the truth.
Thinking like a scientist involves more than just reacting with an open mind. It means being actively open-minded. It requires searching for reasons why we might be wrong—not for reasons why we must be right—and revising our views based on what we learn.
“Arrogance is ignorance plus conviction,”
“While humility is a permeable filter that absorbs life experience and converts it into knowledge and wisdom, arrogance is a rubber shield that life experience simply bounces off of.”
What I love about Adam’s book “Think Again” is that he challenges both loosely held and even tightly held beliefs about the way we conduct ourselves. He doesn’t care that he might offend someone. He has the research to back up all of his assertions. His findings are at times counter intuitive. The conclusions often break the author’s previous beliefs. He had to unlearn some of his old ideas. It’s only then that we can grow past our own limiting beliefs.