Grant begins his book by getting us to think about what it means to be mentally fit. One might think it requires intelligence. Certainly it takes the ability to think and learn. Grant says it also takes the ability to rethink and unlearn. He has written this book to help us know how rethinking happens, how we can encourage others to rethink, and create a community of life long learners.
We are hesitant to change our minds. Who wants to admit we were wrong? What damage might that do to our fragile egos? We exhibit cognitive laziness. We prefer the ease of hanging on to our views rather than go through the difficulty of grappling with opposing information. “We listen to views that make us feel good, instead of ideas that make us think hard.” (4)
He writes about thinking like a scientist, about confirmation bias and desirability bias. He suggests we have intellectual humility, knowing what we don't know. “If knowledge is power,” he writes, “knowing what we don't know is wisdom.” (28) He helps us recognize when confidence exceeds competence and to spot feigned knowledge.
Grant suggests an attitude of confident humility. We have faith in our ability to make good conclusions yet live with the awareness we may have some of it wrong. We have faith in our strengths and are aware of our weaknesses. Being wrong is how we learn. “We learn more from people who challenge our thought process than those who affirm our conclusions.” (86)
I appreciate Grant's insights shared in this book. I read it because I am a life long learner and I want to know how to keep investigating and correcting my views. I also want to know how to help others rethink their ideas, especially those formed from social media posts instead of scientific research. Grant provided good information and helpful strategy.
My rating: 4/5 stars.
Adam Grant is an organizational psychologist at Wharton and is one of TED's most popular speakers. His books have sold million and his podcast, WorkLife with Adam Grant, tops charts. He has received distinguished scientific achievement awards from the American Psychological Association and the National Science Foundation. He received his BA from Harvard and his Ph.D. From the University of Michigan. He lives with his family in Philadelphia.
Viking, 320 pages.
Thank you to my local public library for the opportunity to read this important book.
(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)