Think Again can make you more humble, self-aware, and intelligent by showing how intellectual ignorance can harm you. Grant differentiates between preacher mode, politician mode, and scientist mode. According to Grant, the right thing to do is to follow the scientist mode and doubt what you know, be curious about what you don’t know and update your beliefs when presented with new evidence.
💭 What I think about it
This book inspired me and I dedicated an entire article to the key lessons. Changing your opinion when presented with evidence or arguments is more important than ever.
🌟 Who benefits from reading this book?
This book is literally for everyone who is willing to expand their mind. The key ideas from the book can improve your ability to rethink and change your mind.
📚 How the book changed my life
When you just read a few books in your life, you’re likely aware of what you don’t know. But once you’ve read through some hundred books, you tend to become ignorant. You might be too confident, too sure, and less aware of the things you don’t know. Nassim Nicholas Taleb says: “Read books are far less valuable than unread ones.” This book reminded me to stay curious and question everything I learned – despite (or because of!) reading so much.
✍️ My Favorite Quotes
- The smarter you are, the more complex the problems you can solve—and the faster you can solve them. Intelligence is traditionally viewed as the ability to think and learn. Yet in a turbulent world, there’s another set of cognitive skills that might matter more: the ability to rethink and unlearn.
- Cognitive laziness. Some psychologists point out that we’re mental misers: we often prefer the ease of hanging on to old views over the difficulty of grappling with new ones.
- We laugh at people who still use Windows 95, yet we still cling to opinions that we formed in 1995.
- No matter how much brainpower you have, if you lack the motivation to change your mind, you’ll miss many occasions to think again.
- The purpose of learning isn’t to affirm our beliefs; it’s to evolve our beliefs.
- If knowledge is power, knowing what we don’t know is wisdom.
- You can be confident in your ability to achieve a goal in the future while maintaining the humility to question whether you have the right tools in the present. That’s the sweet spot of confidence.
- This evidence is new, and we still have a lot to learn about when impostor syndrome is beneficial versus when it’s detrimental. Still, it leaves me wondering if we’ve been misjudging impostor syndrome by seeing it solely as a disorder.
- Psychologists find that admitting we were wrong doesn’t make us look less competent. It’s a display of honesty and a willingness to learn.
- Rethinking depends on a different kind of network: a challenge network, a group of people we trust to point out our blind spots and help us overcome our weaknesses. Their role is to activate rethinking cycles by pushing us to be humble about our expertise, doubt our knowledge, and be curious about new perspectives.
- Agreeableness is about seeking social harmony, not cognitive consensus. It’s possible to disagree without being disagreeable. Although I’m terrified of hurting other people’s feelings, when it comes to challenging their thoughts, I have no fear. In fact, when I argue with someone, it’s not a display of disrespect—it’s a sign of respect. It means I value their views enough to contest them.
- Changing your mind doesn’t make you a flip-flopper or a hypocrite. It means you were open to learning.
- When we choose not to engage with people because of their stereotypes or prejudice, we give up on opening their minds.
- Psychologists have a name for this: binary bias. It’s a basic human tendency to seek clarity and closure by simplifying a complex continuum into two categories.
- A fascinating example is a divide around emotional intelligence. On one extreme is Daniel Goleman, who popularized the concept. He preaches that emotional intelligence matters more for performance than cognitive ability (IQ) and accounts for “nearly 90 percent” of success in leadership jobs. At the other extreme is Jordan Peterson, writing that “There is NO SUCH THING AS EQ” and prosecuting emotional intelligence as “a fraudulent concept, a fad, a convenient band-wagon, a corporate marketing scheme.” Both men hold doctorates in psychology, but neither seems particularly interested in creating an accurate record. If Peterson had bothered to read the comprehensive meta-analyses of studies spanning nearly two hundred jobs, he’d have discovered that—contrary to his claims—emotional intelligence is real and it does matter. Emotional intelligence tests predict performance even after controlling for IQ and personality. If Goleman hadn’t ignored those same data, he’d have learned that if you want to predict performance across jobs, IQ is more than twice as important as emotional intelligence (which accounts for only 3 to 8 percent of performance)