Put Your Beliefs to the Test

With rapid-fire news cycles and the speed of social media, it’s easier than ever to quickly jump to the wrong conclusion.

We humans have evolved with a tendency to believe information without verifying it first, especially when it comes to abstract beliefs.

Historically, we have relied on black-and-white thinking to survive. Early humans didn’t stop to consider probabilities when they heard rustling in the grass. Instead, they fled on the assumption that the sound was a predatory animal. But this tendency to think in terms of concrete absolutes is not as helpful to us here in modern times. It makes us cling to one choice or belief when there might be multiple options to consider.

Our ideas are usually only reexamined and revised when they are challenged by an outside source. So what’s the fix? Try to challenge your assumptions more. Instead of running away the next time you hear a noise, pause to find its source. Confirm that there is a threat before you panic and run away.

For more great ideas about how to make better decisions, check out our Instaread on Thinking in Bets.

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