42: Changing

A Thousand Things to Talk About
42: Changing

changemindToday, we’re talking about changing.

What changes your mind?

Show notes and links:
So you think you’re smarter than a CIA agent? (NPR)
Are you a Super Forcaster? (BBC)
Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction (Amazon)
How to be less terrible at predicting the future (Freakonomics)

Full episode text

Changing your mind is a process. For just about everyone, the exact things that change their mind are varied. Yet it is the very process of changing your mind that points to something more. In a multi-year experiment called the Good Judgement Project, psychologists and intelligence experts took an experimental look at what, exactly, makes somebody a “superforecaster.” Superforecasters are individuals that are able to predict events with a better-than-chance result.

One of the biggest factors of what makes someone a superforecaster isn’t specific knowledge of events, or industry knowledge. As Phillip Tetlock, co-author of Superforecasters, explained on the podcast Freakonomics:

[Superforecasters] tend to be more actively open-minded. They tend to treat their beliefs not as sacred possessions to be guarded but rather as testable hypotheses to be discarded when the evidence mounts against them. That’s another way in which they differ from many people. They try not to have too many ideological sacred cows. They’re willing to move fairly quickly in response to changing circumstances.

So it’s not always easy, but changing your mind could be a part of developing your own superpower. So I’m curious: what changes yours?