Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know

Viking. Feb. 2021. 320p. ISBN 9781984878106. $28. PSYCH
Grant (Wharton Sch.; Organizational Psychology; Give and Take) contends that people are often stuck in their own ideas. The problem is not that these ideas are wrong, but rather that we are unwilling to rethink them. In the first part of this title, he points to people who succeed in large part because they do question their own opinions. The Nobel Prize–winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman enjoys learning he is wrong, because this enables him to add to his knowledge. By contrast, victims of the Dunning-Krueger effect overestimate their knowledge of subjects about which they know little or nothing. Grant goes on to discuss ways of persuading others to change their beliefs. Here he stresses the ability to listen and ask questions. He concludes with a section on methods of teaching and communication. Rather than teaching by “laying down the law,” it is more effective to learn together with one’s students.
VERDICT Readers with an interest in psychology, as well as the proverbial “general reader,” will enjoy this fast-paced account by a leading authority on the psychology of thinking.
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