How to Become Intellectually Humble
How do we become more intellectually humble? How do we become open to new experiences? How do we become open-minded? Well, the problem with open-mindedness is all these philosophers and psychologists and people, we've said open-mindedness is good. Most of the time we agree on that. Maybe being too open-minded is bad, you know when your brain is to fall out. That's what Carl Sagan said I think. But certainly closed-mindedness is not good. We use that as an insult. But the problem that we've had is there's been no way to measure intellectual humility. So we can measure openness to experience. There's a psychology test called the Big Five, which is Myers-Briggs is the common personality test that people take. It's been for years and years and years debunked by psychologist as not very accurate and not very good. The one that they prefer is called the Big Five. Openness to experience is one of factors in the Big Five. The other things are like neuroticism and things like that, conscientiou...
sness. And intellectual humility is the other part of the equation, we've had no way to measure it until last year. So last year some professors from Pepperdine University put together an assessment that they published that was academically approved by the community that measures, gives an accurate measure, of intellectual humility. And it breaks down into four things. First is respect for other viewpoints. And this is sort of obvious, if you can't respect another viewpoint, it's gonna be really hard to change your mind when you need to. Second is not being overconfident intellectually. So if you are too confident in how smart you are about something, it's gonna be very hard for you to change your mind. Third is separating your ego from your intellect, so attaching your own identity to your smarts or to your smarts on a certain topic. And then the fourth is the willingness to revise your viewpoints. So hooray we can measure this now. You just took an assessment where I put together the Pepperdine University study with the Big Five's openness to experience so that we can have it now, a five factor view of open-mindedness. Now it turns out that most people when you ask them if they're open-minded will say yes. In fact 95% of people say they are more open-minded than average. If you think about that, that can't be true. Some of us are less open-minded than average. Part of the reason for this is because open-mindedness is not just one thing. It's these five things that I've just described. And most humans are pretty good at some of them, and most of us have areas where we're weaker. And that there's probably a lot of reasons why that comes about. And from studying this assessment, we now know some things that can actually help us to improve these. So the class took this quiz as did a whole bunch of people on the internet, and the average score for each of these hovers between high 80s and low 90s. For openness to new experiences, this class scored average. Okay, most people score around the same average. For the lack of intellectual overconfidence, this class and the CreativeLive crowd scored lower than average. Turns out that we think that we're pretty smart. (audience laughing) For respect for other viewpoints, CreativeLive class and community, off the charts, lots of respect for other viewpoints on average. Not everyone got these scores, but if we average up this crowd compared to the thousands that have taken this quiz before. So respect for other viewpoints. It makes sense in a creative community that you would have that. That just sorta makes sense. Openness to revising viewpoints also very high. Separating ego from intellect, very low. Turns out that this actually kinda maps to my own scores. Separating ego from intellect is my worst score. Turns out that I as a curious person, as an explorer, I like learning and trying new things, I respect other people's ways of doing things, I can change my mind, but it really hurts when I'm proven wrong. I attach my identity to my intellect, and I am pretty intellectually confident, which means when I am proven wrong about something, even though I know kind of in the higher order sort of logic part of my brain that I should change and I will, I go home and I feel shitty. And that actually can prevent me from being the kind of open-minded teammate that can allow me to be part of a groundbreaking team. So how do we improve these things? How do we open our minds? Well the next couple of lessons are gonna be about just that.