Soldier Mindset vs Scout Mindset
  • "Soldier Mindset" or "motivated reasoning." It's this phenomenon in which our unconscious motivations, our desires, and fears, shape the way we interpret information. Some information, some ideas, feel like our allies. We want to wind and defend them. Other information or ideas are the enemies.
  • "Scout Mindset." It's the drive not to make one idea win or another lose, but just to see what's really there as honestly and accurately as you can, even if it's not convenient or pleasant. 

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Why do you think you're right? It's all about which mindset you're in.

ted.com

Why are some people able to cut through their own motivations and just try to see the facts as objectively as they can?

The answer is emotional. The soldier mindset is rooted in emotions like defensiveness or tribalism, the scout mindset is, too. It's just rooted in different emotions. For example, scouts are curious. They're more likely to say they feel pleasure when they learn new information. They're more likely to feel intrigued when they encounter something that contradicts their expectations. Scouts have different values. They're more likely to say they think it's virtuous to test your own beliefs, and they're less likely to say that someone who changes his mind seems weak.

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To improve our judgment we need to change the way we feel.

We need to learn how to feel proud instead of ashamed when we notice we might have been wrong about something. We need to learn how to feel intrigued instead of defensive when we encounter some information that contradicts our beliefs.

So the question I want to leave you with is: Do you yearn to defend your own beliefs? Or do you yearn to see the world as clearly as you possibly can?

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