People With More Intellectual Humility Have Superior (general) Knowledge

haidut

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A really good study, which may suggest the arrogant "experts" running society are probably a lot less knowledgeable and wise then they would have us believe. The study is also potentially a corroboration of the Dunning-Kruger Effect. So, it looks like it is better to be surrounded by humble people. There is no guarantee that they will all be smart, but we now know that the arrogant ones are likely to be dumb as bricks.

Dunning–Kruger effect - Wikipedia

Another good finding of the study was that people with greater intellectual humility are better at acquiring/learning new knowledge but have worse grades at school. As we know by now, schools select for compliance, not knowledge. I don't know what the authors used the term "intellectual humility" when it is very rarely used in psychology. In this case, the term simply meant "open-mindedness", which is a much more widely used term in psychology. I like both terms but I think open-mindedness actually depends on humility and they are not fully interchangeable. If acquiring knowledge depends on intellectual humility then it is little surprise that science is in crisis. The very culture of science these days demands that one NEVER admits a mistake lest they be quickly stripped of funding and have their careers destroyed. Science is no longer done by scientists but by salesmen, politicians, and lawyers in disguise.

Another positive finding of the study was that people with greater intellectual humility were less judgmental of other people and less likely to view other people's views as inferior to their own. Finally, the study also found that intellectual humility can be induced by training. No need to wait for a crushing life event to remind you of just how fallible (and dumb?) you are. All that was needed was to remind people that intelligence is malleable and can be improved. If people believe their mistakes can be rectified by improving their knowledge tomorrow then they will be less likely to be a die-hard, know-it-all fanatics who are good for nothing but getting into a position of power, and wrecking economies and entire countries with their "expertise". Conversely, we can conclude that a genetic view of life and intelligence promotes exactly this type of dangerous fanatical behavior because it teaches people that their capacity is fixed and they better not expose themselves as fools or they will never be able to recover from the (social) fallout.

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/17439760.2019.1579359
https://opensociet.org/2019/05/26/p...ual-humility-have-superior-general-knowledge/

"...In the era of social media and rolling news there’s a constant pressure to be in the know, always on hand with an aperçus or two. Today intellectual humility therefore feels more important than ever – having the insight and honesty to hold your hands up and say you’re ignorant or inexpert about an issue. Psychologists are responding by taking an increasing interest in intellectual humility, including investigating its consequences for learning and the thinking styles that support it. For a new paperin The Journal of Positive Psychology a team led by Elizabeth Krumrei-Mancuso have continued this endeavour, showing, among other things, that intellectual humility correlates with superior general knowledge. This is a logical outcome because, as the researchers write, “simply put, learning requires the humility to realise one has something to learn.”

"...The findings in relation to knowledge acquisition were mixed. While an online study involving 604 adults (and using the more comprehensive measure of intellectual humility) found the aforementioned link between greater intellectual humility and superior general knowledge, another involving college students (and the briefer intellectual humility questionnaire) found that those higher in intellectual humility achieved poorer grades. Perhaps the latter result arose because the higher-achieving students used their objectively higher grades to judge their intellectual ability as higher, not having had the chance yet in life to confront their intellectual fallibility (but as mentioned, the use of different measures across the studies complicates any interpretation of the mixed results)." Meanwhile, other thinking styles and constructs that correlated with greater intellectual humility included being more inclined to reflective thinking, having more “need for cognition” (enjoying thinking hard and problem solving), greater curiosity, and open-minded thinking. More intellectual humility was also associated with less “social vigilantism”, defined as seeing other people’s beliefs as inferior."

"...Across both studies, even after accounting for the influence of many other factors such as a person’s self-esteem, narcissism, and overall agreeableness, openness and humility, the students who scored higher on intellectual humility tended to think about the person who disagreed with them in more constructive ways – for instance, believing the other person has their own unique perspective and experiences to draw on – rather than dismissing their views as due to low intelligence or lack of understanding. Moreover, those participants with greater intellectual humility were more likely to say that, given the chance, they would try to learn more about the other person’s views, rather than simply argue with them or try to change their mind."

"...Wouldn’t it be great if we all had a little more intellectual humility? The researchers tested an intervention that they hoped would increase intellectual humility via the promotion of a “growth mindset” – that is, belief in the malleability of intelligence. It makes sense that if you see intelligence as malleable, then you will be less worried about finding out you are wrong or that you don’t know the full story. After all, with this perspective, just because you are wrong or ignorant about something doesn’t mean you are forever condemned to being stupid. A final study showed that participants who read a popular magazine article about the malleability of intelligence (designed to foster a “growth mindset”) subsequently scored higher on intellectual humility than another group who read an article about intelligence being fixed. What’s more, those in the growth mindset condition went on to display a more positive approach when imagining dealing with someone with opposing views, and this seemed to be driven by their increased intellectual humility."
 

haidut

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Guru, I was missing these streaks. Zooming out on Google Earth also works.

Yeah, been busy with work lately so I neglected the new posts a bit. But sooner or later they make their way to the forum...sometimes as a flood :):
 

haidut

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I remember I school that whenever I felt confident while doing the exam, I did unusually bad. Only when I felt insecure or had no particular emotion did I do well..

Same here. Never failed to happen, even in college and grad school. At work was actually "better" - I knew that no matter what I did management will always find a way to blame labor, so that certainty gave me a perverse sense of calm :):
 

MatheusPN

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I remember I school that whenever I felt confident while doing the exam, I did unusually bad. Only when I felt insecure or had no particular emotion did I do well..
Good times
Same here, when I was 4 to 8, I said that the exam was baby food and often the grade was red. Afterwards I just disregarded the exams, was uncertain about the grades but those were my best
 

johnwester130

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Being an arrogant 'know it all' is a classic example of the constipated, stubborn serotonin based personality.
 

yerrag

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Ever notice the really smart professors don't write books so much or at all, and many of those who write books are smart only because the audience can't tell? Organizing and compiling knowledge is more of a librarian's task.
 

Lord Cola

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And then there are those who are relatively very smart and show how relatively very smart they are.
 

DrJ

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I knew that no matter what I did management will always find a way to blame labor, so that certainty gave me a perverse sense of calm :):
Haha I know that feel. But I've never been able to state the nature of the thing so concisely :):
 

yerrag

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Haha I know that feel. But I've never been able to state the nature of the thing so concisely :):
You must look forward to the weekend and dread the Monday doldrums.
 

lvysaur

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Makes sense, intellectual humility is interest in knowledge for its own sake, while intellectual confidence is a soft form of religion. The person who is intellectually confident cannot fluidly adapt his mind to other scenarios (this is particularly true in biology and politics IMO, and perhaps less relevant in physics)

Obviously you need some confidence, or reality stops mattering. But too much and you become that annoying philosophy kid from high school.

Personally I think this is also the fundamental difference between fields like philosophy and fields like hard science/engineering. Philosophy is cheap because ideas are cheap, and while ideology can be inspirational and dynamic, knowledge of reality (AKA 'sensing') will always be more valuable in the long term.

But really that's my own intuition-inspired, confidence-leaning mind criticizing its own vices by using exactly what it accuses itself of doing. So this post is a bit hypocritical but I still think it's correct nonetheless (of course I would)
 
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DrJ

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You must look forward to the weekend and dread the Monday doldrums.
Not really! I take the stoic approach. Since I was not born rich, I must work. If I must work, I should make the best of it. Managers, as far as I can tell, tend to not totally grasp what's going on. They get to management by not causing too many waves, being friendly to everyone, being able to manage expectations, and BS enough to make it seem like they know what's up and that they're on track even though nothing ever really is. Therefore, my manager can typically never have an accurate picture of what's going on, but I can. I am, however, surrounded by a bunch of expensive, high-tech equipment that has a steep learning curve to use effectively, not everyone can come by due to cost, and I also must program to make these many things work together. Put another way, the opportunity to learn scarce and valuable skills is ridiculous. I have an opportunity to learn to be capable of things that can be terribly cutting edge if I take it. So I do. I then manage my manager's expectation while building in time to learn and experiment on the things I have available to me, all the time ostensibly working towards the schedule. Learning is enjoyable. Ability to understand and competently work with useful high-tech things is valuable. So I can mostly get things to proceed in a way in which I learn (and enjoy) while continuing to increase my 'value proposition' or salary (through knowledge building) to take care of the more mundane materialistic realities. So it is win-win when played right. I'd like to think you can turn a great majority of situations into win-wins if your metabolism is up and brain working well. At the least, you can change your mental attitude toward something to benefit your attitude on your life situation, which basically re-states the philosophy of stoicism.
 

yerrag

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Not really! I take the stoic approach. Since I was not born rich, I must work. If I must work, I should make the best of it. Managers, as far as I can tell, tend to not totally grasp what's going on. They get to management by not causing too many waves, being friendly to everyone, being able to manage expectations, and BS enough to make it seem like they know what's up and that they're on track even though nothing ever really is. Therefore, my manager can typically never have an accurate picture of what's going on, but I can. I am, however, surrounded by a bunch of expensive, high-tech equipment that has a steep learning curve to use effectively, not everyone can come by due to cost, and I also must program to make these many things work together. Put another way, the opportunity to learn scarce and valuable skills is ridiculous. I have an opportunity to learn to be capable of things that can be terribly cutting edge if I take it. So I do. I then manage my manager's expectation while building in time to learn and experiment on the things I have available to me, all the time ostensibly working towards the schedule. Learning is enjoyable. Ability to understand and competently work with useful high-tech things is valuable. So I can mostly get things to proceed in a way in which I learn (and enjoy) while continuing to increase my 'value proposition' or salary (through knowledge building) to take care of the more mundane materialistic realities. So it is win-win when played right. I'd like to think you can turn a great majority of situations into win-wins if your metabolism is up and brain working well. At the least, you can change your mental attitude toward something to benefit your attitude on your life situation, which basically re-states the philosophy of stoicism.
It seems what you do keeps you secure. You have skills that don't depend on your security of tenure at your company that are transferable and in high demand elsewhere.

You could care less that these managers and their higher-ups are incompetent and. continue to rise to their level of incompetence. You can afford to be stoical about it.

You could also be doing nothing at times and your managers wouldn't even care, just as long as you make them look good. That is the true job of a subordinate in a corporate world.

And if you agree with them all the time and sing their praises, you may even rise up the ranks if you so find it a rewarding experience beyond the monetary aspects.
 

LeeLemonoil

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The problem and biggest disadvantage of theses kind of open-minded/humble people is that in an argument or generally confrontational situations they tend to are more likely to pull back / give in or give the opponent more consideration than objectively warranted. Because he thinks „maybe there is something to it“ and is less dismissive to the other being.
Evolutionarily it seems clear that these kind of people would have problems or are less likely to attain higher positions in society - thus, the sorry state the world is in.
 

yerrag

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The problem and biggest disadvantage of theses kind of open-minded/humble people is that in an argument or generally confrontational situations they tend to are more likely to pull back / give in or give the opponent more consideration than objectively warranted. Because he thinks „maybe there is something to it“ and is less dismissive to the other being.
Evolutionarily it seems clear that these kind of people would have problems or are less likely to attain higher positions in society - thus, the sorry state the world is in.
Compare the CEO of Toyota and the CEO of GM, and you ask what qualities made them CEOs in their respective companies, then you understand why Toyota makes good cars and why GM doesn't. It's a different corporate culture. I think you may find the open-minded/humble archetype of a leader in a culture that values that archetype. Over time, values change. Cultures change. When Toyota culture becomes like GM, then it's time for another company to lead.

If your civilization does not know how to choose its leaders, that civilization is on a descent. No civilization lasts forever, as it will manage to self-destruct by cultural suicide.
 
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haidut

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The person who is intellectually confident cannot fluidly adapt his mind to other scenarios

...because they are all usually selling something. Not always a product or service but even things like their own brand/ideology in order to advance their career or social standing. If you are intellectually flexible, it is hard to convince people to pay/support you for changing your mind often. It is the same in politics - being (over)confident and "staying the course" is typically considered a great trait for a politician on both sides of the spectrum.
 

Hugh Johnson

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Kids are constantly unsure of what they are doing, after all they don't really even know how to talk or walk. The reason they learn so fast is their courage to keep taking risks. Naturally they need an adult to do risk management, but they are not scared of doing it wrong, embarrassing themselves, making a mistake or being rejected. We are taught later on that we must not make a mistake or be seen as imperfect, and this I think is a source of a lot of this intellectual calcification we see.

The reason for this seems to be a need for control by the authoritarian structures we live in. Family system, school and corporate jobs all dislike independent thinking and truth telling. However, the few that do manage to overcome this conditioning seem to be powerful individuals able to accomplish things most people would never dare attempt. Curing their cancer, making millions, travelling the world with no job. Whatever is their purpose. Vulnerability and truth seem to be where the power is.

However, such people are not controllable or predictable. They threaten everything the authoritarians believe in, and it is the reason people like Peat are sidelined while mediocrities like Lustig are elevated. What I find interesting is how do the authoritarians recognize the threat, because they clearly do and they take action to prevent, say, the use of vitamins to cure mental illness. They even do this when people doing those things are receiving a lot of money, admiration and love while they are stuck in mediocrity.

It makes no sense. It is like an instinctive thing. Or maybe I'm hallucinating something that is not there.
 

haidut

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What I find interesting is how do the authoritarians recognize the threat, because they clearly do and they take action to prevent, say, the use of vitamins to cure mental illness. They even do this when people doing those things are receiving a lot of money, admiration and love while they are stuck in mediocrity.

Many times they do not recognize the threat or even if they do there is not need to do anything in most cases. Like you said, even family structures often dislike/discourage truth seeking/telling and can effectively suppress such a person without any help from outside. If the person does manage to break through then it is quite easy to track their influence/impact these days. I mean, even Peat does most interaction with others electronically and that can be quite easily traced, quantified, assessed, etc. Google knows quite well how impactful say Peat's last newsletter was and Google has publicly admitted to selling "personal profile assessments" of any individual of interest to the government or anybody else with deep-enough pockets. That's kind of the main business o Google right now - i.e. not so much indexing the world's information but tracking individuals through public posts, emails (Gmail) or even "anonymous" searching. Same with Facebook, Amazon, and Microsoft (whose Windows 10 OS by default track almost everything you do on your computer). Combine the information these 4 companies have on a person and you pretty much know how much of a threat they are to governments, to others, or even to themselves (e.g. mental illness, drug use, etc).
 
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