Julia Galef: Why you think you're right -- even if you're wrong
Julia Galef - Writer
Julia Galef investigates how and why people change their minds. Full bio
in the heat of battle.
or a medieval archer
there are some things that are constant.
from these deeply ingrained reflexes,
to protect yourself and your side
playing a very different role,
to attack or defend.
identifying potential obstacles.
that, say, there's a bridge
wants to know what's really there,
the soldier and the scout are essential.
of these roles as a mindset --
process information and ideas
is that having good judgment,
making good decisions,
to 19th-century France,
piece of paper
political scandals in history.
by officers in the French general staff.
that someone in their ranks
military secrets to Germany.
quickly converged on this man,
no motive as far as they could tell.
Jewish officer at that rank in the army,
the French Army was highly anti-Semitic.
to that on the memo
professional handwriting experts
in the similarity,
and they didn't find anything.
that Dreyfus was not only guilty,
he had hidden all of the evidence
through his personal history
foreign languages in school,
to conspire with foreign governments
was known for having a good memory,
has to remember a lot of things.
and Dreyfus was found guilty.
into this public square
his insignia from his uniform
the Degradation of Dreyfus.
to life imprisonment
off the coast of South America.
and there he spent his days alone,
to the French government
so they could discover his innocence.
France considered the matter closed.
to me about the Dreyfus Affair
were so convinced
that they were setting him up,
that's what happened.
that the case against Dreyfus was strong.
call "motivated reasoning."
our unconscious motivations,
feel like our allies.
We want to defend them.
or ideas are the enemy,
motivated reasoning, "soldier mindset."
or politics, so you might have noticed
that your team committed a foul,
to find reasons why he's wrong.
committed a foul -- awesome!
let's not examine it too closely.
an article or a study
that it's not effective,
to find all the reasons
that capital punishment works,
support capital punishment, same thing.
about our health, our relationships,
about motivated reasoning
objective and fair-minded
of an innocent man.
his story is not over.
in the French Army,
he assumed Dreyfus was guilty.
he was at least casually anti-Semitic.
Picquart began to suspect:
he had discovered evidence
that another officer in the army
matched the memo,
to his superiors,
they either didn't care
to explain his findings,
Picquart, is that there's another spy
after Dreyfus left.
to get Dreyfus exonerated.
he himself was in prison
can't really be the hero of this story
and that's bad, which I agree with.
the fact that Picquart was anti-Semitic
the same reasons to be biased
and uphold it trumped all of that.
for what I call "scout mindset."
one idea win or another lose,
or convenient or pleasant.
I'm personally passionate about.
examining and trying to figure out
and biases and motivations
and the evidence
is rooted in emotions
they feel pleasure
when they encounter something
they think it's virtuous
that someone who changes his mind
they are about any particular topic.
that capital punishment works.
that it doesn't, they can say,
Doesn't mean I'm bad or stupid."
is what researchers have found --
to leave you with about those traits
not about how smart you are
very much with IQ at all.
coming back to, by Saint-Exupéry.
to collect wood and give orders
for the vast and endless sea."
our judgment as individuals
is not more instruction in logic
are quite valuable.
to use those principles well
instead of ashamed
have been wrong about something.
instead of defensive
that contradicts our beliefs.
to leave you with is:
as clearly as you possibly can?
About the speaker:Julia Galef - Writer
Julia Galef investigates how and why people change their minds.
Why you should listen
Julia Galef co-founded the Center for Applied Rationality, a nonprofit organization devoted to helping people improve their reasoning and decision-making, particularly with the aim of addressing global problems. Julia’s background is originally in statistics, and she did social science research at Columbia and Harvard Business Schools for several years before becoming a writer for venues such as Slate, Science, Scientific American and more. For the last six years, Julia has hosted the Rationally Speaking podcast.
Julia Galef | Speaker | TED.com