Summary of How to Train Yourself to Be a More Rational Thinker

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How to Train Yourself to Be a More Rational Thinker summary
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Science writer Matthew Hutson shares some simple tools for thinking more rationally. In a relaxed, conversational style, he collates scientific research about irrationality. Nothing he suggests requires a great commitment of time or effort, although you will have to be willing to part with some of your long-held views and to change your mind. getAbstract recommends this article to anyone who would like to make better decisions and more accurate estimates.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Which irrational modes of thought are common,
  • How simple tools can help you to overcome irrational thinking, and
  • How evolution has favored bias and irrationality.
 

About the Author

Matthew Hutson is a New York-based science writer. He was the news editor at Psychology Today for four years and has written for publications including NewsweekWired and The Atlantic.

 

Summary

You can learn to make more logical choices. For example, people tend to be overconfident when judging the merit of their own ideas. Arguing with others who disagree with you helps you hone your opinion and reach better conclusions. Learning to control negative feelings about criticism can make such discussions more productive. Note that becoming aware of the emotions behind your thoughts and beliefs will take time and conscious effort. In the absence of a dissenting partner, you can adopt an opposing viewpoint and dispute with yourself to evaluate and refine your arguments.

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