What if the guy who asked “Dr. Livingstone I presume?” had presumed wrong?
How can you begin to think about how you think? I recently took a course called Structured Analytic Techniques. Its purpose was to get analysts to consciously think about how they think through a problem and get past any invalid bias and/or assumptions made in order to get as close to the truth as possible. (Purpose: 1) Recognize cognitive biases and social, belief and behavioral biases. 2) Understand mindsets, and (cognitive) mental shortcuts and the problems they present for analysts. 3)Apply critical thinking skills to mitigate these biases, mindsets, and mental shortcuts)
The course truly opened my eyes in a cognitive sense. I began to actively look at the assumptions I made everyday and to evaluate their validity or attempt to break past them. Everything from assuming that someone is a bad person not worth my while since they just broke the speed limit, assuming the news anchor I don’t like is wrong 100% of the time, assuming that I am better than those around me.
It is amazing when you take the time to figure out why you think a certain way. At first my wife didn’t enjoy my new learning as I constantly questioned her assertions and provided devils advocacy…this did not continue for long as I, as a smart man (cough), realized that it may not be the best for our relationship…
What are your biases, what do you take for granted, what do you assume? There is both positive and negative bias and their sources come from many areas of life. Home town lifestyle, family values and rules instilled by parents, political views adopted from a TV talking head, etc.