Our ability to believe in things is deeply rooted in our evolutionary history. We are wired to believe in things that help us navigate through uncertainty and provide us with a sense of stability. This is why we often believe things that may not necessarily be true, but are advantageous for us to hold.

Aviral Vaid

Aviral Vaid

Aug 21, 2023 • 3 min read

0

Our ability to believe in things is deeply rooted in our evolutionary history. We are wired to believe in things that help us navigate through uncertainty and provide us with a sense of stability. This is why we often believe things that may not necessarily be true, but are advantageous for us to hold.

One interesting concept that sheds light on this is Gibson's Law. According to Gibson's Law, for every PhD there is an equal and opposite PhD. This means that people can be led to believe and defend almost anything, not because it is true, but because it serves a purpose for them. Beliefs are often used to justify past actions, protect one's reputation, provide hope, maximize income, or signal belonging to a certain group or tribe.

Our memories of past events are also filtered. We tend to keep what makes sense and discard the confusing details. The dangerous thing is that beliefs based on our experiences seem evidence-based because they are rooted in our personal encounters. However, when we are overwhelmed with observations in a complex world, we tend to cherry-pick the most attractive evidence that aligns with our preconceived notions.

Changing our minds is a rare occurrence. We often cling to false beliefs because admitting a mistake or changing our beliefs can feel like all the effort we put into establishing our previous beliefs was wasted. Moreover, changing our beliefs can be challenging because it offers proof to others that the new belief may be short-lived.

Interestingly, the desire for certainty plays a significant role in our beliefs. Often, we are not interested in the truth itself, but in eliminating uncertainty. This desire for certainty can lead us to believe things that have little to no relation to reality.

So, how can we navigate through this complex web of beliefs and ensure that we have a more accurate understanding of the world?

  • 1. Be open to changing your beliefs: Recognize that changing your mind is not a sign of weakness or failure, but rather a sign of growth and intellectual maturity. Embrace new information and be willing to reconsider your beliefs in light of new evidence.
  • 2. Seek diverse perspectives: Surround yourself with people who have different opinions and beliefs. Engage in thoughtful discussions and debates that challenge your existing beliefs. This will help you broaden your understanding and avoid falling into the trap of confirmation bias.
  • 3. Develop critical thinking skills: Learn to evaluate information critically and objectively. Be aware of your own biases and question the sources of information you encounter. Look for reliable evidence and consider multiple viewpoints before forming your own opinion.

In conclusion, our beliefs are influenced by a variety of factors, and often, they are not necessarily based on truth. Understanding the reasons behind our beliefs and being open to changing them is essential for developing a more accurate understanding of the world. By embracing diverse perspectives and honing our critical thinking skills, we can navigate through the complexities of belief and strive for a more informed worldview.

Resource:

  1. "Why You Believe The Things You Do", https://collabfund.com/blog/why-you-believe-the-things-you-do/ (Glasp)
  2. "“How Do I Improve My Storytelling Skills as a PM?”", https://medium.com/@zanelisa15/how-do-i-improve-my-storytelling-skills-as-a-pm-c9a5f1b5c7aa (Glasp)

Want to hatch new ideas?

Glasp AI allows you to hatch new ideas based on your curated content. Let's curate and create with Glasp AI :)