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Monday, July 11, 2016

Julia Galef gave an interesting talk at TED in February, 2016 entitled, "Why You Think You're Right - Even If You Are Wrong."

She describes what she calls the "Solider Mindset" and the "Scout Mindset."

The "Soldier Mindset" operates with what she describes as "motivated reasoning" which selectively perceives facts and ideas that increase the person's chance of winning and rewards their need to be right.

The "Scout Mindset" rather than needing to be right, is interested in the accurate picture of reality even when it is unpleasant or inconvenient.

The contributing factors to "scout mindset" are not intellectual and cognitive as much as emotional. People with "scout mindset" tend to be more grounded (secure), more curious, and more open. These traits of goundedness, openness, and curiosity predict good judgment.

Ms. Galef states that whether one engages in more of a "soldier" or a "scout" mindset is based on what a person yearns for. Is the person more invested in defending his/her beliefs or seeing the world as clearly as possible?

The ability to consider and reflect on how people process their thoughts and beliefs is what is called "meta cognition". "Meta cognition" simply means thinking about thinking. Meta cognition is what Piaget, the psychologist who mapped out cognitive development, calls "formal operations." Formal operations, or meta cognition, is considered to be a sign of maturity and wisdom.

People who engage in meta cognition tend to be more mentally healthy than people who have not grown to this stage of maturity.

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