Summary of Why You Think You’re Right – Even If You’re Wrong

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Why You Think You’re Right – Even If You’re Wrong  summary
Defending beliefs in the face of contradictory evidence isn’t a virtue. It impairs your judgment.


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Defending your beliefs as vehemently as a soldier protects a territory positions new ideas or conflicting data as the enemy. Reasoning expert Julia Galef suggests adopting a scout mind-set to survey the world objectively rather than defensively. Using the Dreyfus affair as a cautionary tale, Galef shows what happens when you apply “motivated reasoning” instead of seeing what’s in front of you without bias. getAbstract embraces this talk as a welcome reminder to keep an open mind and resist demonizing those with different beliefs.

In this summary, you will learn

  • What the “soldier mind-set” and the “scout mind-set” entail,
  • How these mind-sets affect the way people process information and make judgments, and
  • How the Dreyfus affair serves as a cautionary tale.


In the heat of a battle, a soldier experiences strong feelings of self-protection and of aggression toward the enemy. Army scouts, on the other hand, don’t attack or defend but seek to comprehend. They survey the battlefield for obstacles and advantages while mapping the landscape as accurately as possible...
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About the Speaker

Julia Galef is the co-founder of the Center for Applied Rationality and hosts a podcast called Rationally Speaking.

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