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The Thinking Ladder

https://waitbutwhy.com/2019/09/thinking-ladder.html

waitbutwhy.com

The Thinking Ladder
This is Chapter 7 in a blog series. If you're new to the series, visit the series home page Part 3: Thinking, in 3D for the full table of contents. Chapter 7: The Thinking Ladder ___________ "The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves and wise people so full of doubts.

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The Way We See The World

Each of us looks at things differently, and it's largely based on our thinking patterns, education levels, inherent bias, self-identity, and real, first-hand experiences.

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Higher Mind Vs Primitive Mind

Human beings tend to have two kinds of conflicting mindsets:

  • The Higher Mind, the conscious truth-seeking mind, has made human beings an advanced civilization.
  • The Primitive Mind is our hardwired, thousands-of-years-old survivalist part, the one that's still stuck in the dark ages.

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The Psych Spectrum

Our Higher Mind and the Primitive Mind always have a tug-of-war like conflict. The degree of the conflict can be placed in a spectrum, which is called a Psych Spectrum.

If the Higher mind is in control, we are placed higher in the Psych Spectrum and have the Primitive Mind under check. If we are placed at a lower degree in the Psych Spectrum, then the Primitive Mind is under control.

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The Primitive Mind

The Primitive Mind

If we are low on the Psych Spectrum, our Primitive Mind is in charge, which means:

  • We are short-sighted
  • We act small-minded and  emotional
  • We behave in an egoistic way.
  • We lack self-awareness.
  • We are uncompassionate.
  • We show hypocrisy.
  • We are unaware to even know about any of the above actions.

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The 4 Rungs of Thinking

  1. The Scientist, for whom Truth is important. It approaches anything with objectivity and accepts that there are things still unknown.
  2. The Sports Fan, for whom along with the truth, confirmation to his/her beliefs is also important; initial beliefs are the right ones and any new information is approached with confirmation bias.
  3. The Attorney, for whom confirmation of 'his own' version' of the Truth is important; for him, his truth is already The Truth and now he just has to prove it.
  4. The Zealot, for whom confirmation to his/her beliefs is the Truth; there is no reasoning, as the truth is already known, and there is no need to prove it.

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Gathering New Information

  • While gathering new information, the Scientist Mindset goes for unbiased and broad information gathering. 
  • The Sports Fan Mindset has confirmation bias so cherry-picks his information to suit his narrative or the outcome he is rooting for.
  • The Attorney Mindset has to only pick the information that suits his version of the truth and nothing else
  • The Zealot Mindset does not require any information gathering as he is not there to prove anything to anyone.

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Evaluating and Judging

Evaluating and Judging

Truth-based mindset judges others by the way they think (HOW), while confirmation based mindset judges others by WHAT they think.

Truth based mindsets also have original viewpoints based on actual, objective reasoning, derived from the concept of first principles.

Confirmation-based mindsets are not concerned with truth so they are not having any original viewpoints, and only analogy based reasoning.

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Conviction and Worldview

The Unbiased scientific thinker strives to arrive at the truth using knowledge and conviction in equal measure. His vision is clear but he believes that obtaining real knowledge is hard and the world is a complicated, foggy place.

Whereas when we go to the bottom of the Psych Spectrum, we see that Truth is not important; only sticking with existing beliefs is required. The vision is foggy, but the belief is rock solid.

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Self-Awareness of Mindsets

Self-Awareness of Mindsets

Upwards of the Psych Spectrum, we see objective thinking and lack of ego, ready to accept the truth after we find it, rationally and by following an unbiased process.

As we go down the Spectrum we start to see flawed thinking and a stronger self-image, as preset and confirmed beliefs rule, not the truth.

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Matured Thinking

It is a process. As each of us is essentially getting better in our thinking, maturing to grow up psychologically, we are climbing to the higher rungs of the Psych Spectrum.

While we are in the process of going towards the Higher Mindset, we can never discard the primitive mindset totally.

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Bertrand Russell
“The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves and wise people so full of doubts.”

Bertrand Russell

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

The right way to improve critical thinking

  • Create contexts that enable smart decisions: recognize what you’re actually doing when you’re reasoning about things and use this knowledge to try to avoid making common mistakes
  • ...

    Debating problems

    Many well-known problems of human reasoning disappear once you get a group of people together and let them talk about it.

    It's a good way to see your ideas refuted or let stronger ideas win the day. Although there’s a risk of group think and conformity pressures, if you take a large and diverse enough group, you’re more likely to be exposed to the best reasoning, which will tend to win out over the majority opinion.

    Critical thinking...

    ...doesn’t happen because you’ve studied some abstract logical form and come to valid deductions.

     It happens because you know enough about how the world works to rule out certain possibilities as being unlikely or impossible.

    Types Of People Who Blame

    • People who can always find something else to blame.
    • People who blame themselves for everything, even when they’ve had nothing to do with an unfortunate outcome.
    • People who blam...

    Why People Blame Themselves

    This isn’t just false modesty or fishing for reassurance; some people do believe that they cause every bad thing all or most of the time.

    Blaming yourself when something goes wrong might, relates to a general tendency to make internal attributions for failure in which you see yourself as inept, foolish, or irresponsible. That tendency might motivate you to attribute your successes to external factors, such as fate, chance or luck, as well. 

    Blame And Consequence

    Theoretically, anyone who intentionally practices an immoral act is culpable regardless of the consequences. But in most cases, people sign up for what is called “moral luck”.

    Moral luck is the belief that you should hold someone to blame only if the action causes harm to others, not for their intent, and according to it, those whose actions bring harm are more culpable.

    2 more ideas

    We cannot understand ourselves if we do not understand others. Getting to know others requires avoiding the twin dangers of overestimating either how much we have in common or how much divides ...

    To travel around the world’s philosophies is an opportunity to challenge beliefs we take for granted. By gaining greater knowledge of how others think, we can become less certain of the...
    To travel around the world’s philosophies is an opportunity to challenge beliefs we take for granted. By gaining greater knowledge of how others think, we can become less certain of the knowledge we think we have, which is always the first step to greater understanding.

    We should not be afraid to ground ourselves in our own traditions, but we should not be bound by them.
    We should not be afraid to ground ourselves in our own traditions, but we should not be bound by them.