The Scout Mindset: Why Some People See Things Clearly and Others Don't

The Scout Mindset: Why Some People See Things Clearly and Others Don't

...an engaging and enlightening account from which we all can benefit.--The Wall Street Journal

A better way to combat knee-jerk biases and make smarter decisions, from Julia Galef, the acclaimed expert on rational decision-making.

When it comes to what we believe, humans see what they want to see. In other words, we have what Julia Galef calls a soldier mindset. From tribalism and wishful thinking, to rationalizing in our personal lives and everything in between, we are driven to defend the ideas we most want to believe--and shoot down those we don't.

But if we want to get things right more often, argues Galef, we should train ourselves to have a scout mindset. Unlike the soldier, a scout's goal isn't to defend one side over the other. It's to go out, survey the territory, and come back with as accurate a map as possible. Regardless of what they hope to be the case, above all, the scout wants to know what's actually true.

In The Scout Mindset, Galef shows that what makes scouts better at getting things right isn't that they're smarter or more knowledgeable than everyone else. It's a handful of emotional skills, habits, and ways of looking at the world--which anyone can learn. With fascinating examples ranging from how to survive being stranded in the middle of the ocean, to how Jeff Bezos avoids overconfidence, to how superforecasters outperform CIA operatives, to Reddit threads and modern partisan politics, Galef explores why our brains deceive us and what we can do to change the way we think.

Title:The Scout Mindset: Why Some People See Things Clearly and Others Don't
ISBN:9780735217553
Format Type:

    The Scout Mindset: Why Some People See Things Clearly and Others Don't Reviews

  • Gavin

    Here's a way to tell scientific intelligence from legal intelligence. Both may start from the idea that something cannot be done and think up arguments to explain why. However, the scientist may di...

  • Zainab

    Julia picks interesting cases to support her claim, so in a way, she satisfied my selfish want to find stories in the non-fiction. Thanks, Julia.However (there's always that however), what I did not l...

  • Nick de Vera

    meta, soldier mindset: i want to five-star and promote this book, see My Tribe become popular and influential. some welcome pushback against the increasingly annoying "use cognitive biases to trick yo...

  • Travis Rebello

    Knowing how to reason well does not mean that you will. That's the lesson that starts The Scout Mindset. The arch enemy of your clear thinking, we might say, is an enemy within: it is your own motivat...

  • Ozzie Gooen

    TDLR: A good book with mass appeal to help people care more about being accurate. Fairly easy to read, which makes it easy to recommend to many people.I've met Julia a few times and am friendly with h...

  • Ben Hughes

    I spent today reading @JuliaGalef's excellent book "The Scout Mindset" cover to cover. This is one of the most important books I've read recently, and it provides a unique and under-appreciated lens w...

  • Harsha Varma

    What makes Bill Gates very very dangerous? Larry Ellison has an interesting anecdote from 1993 in his book Softwar.“It was the most interesting conversation I’ve ever had with Bill, and the most r...

  • D.B. Buzzkill

    The book is alright. Starts a bit slow, gets stronger in the middle but the final chapters are a bit weak. It's nicely written in a plain conversational tone. If you like books like these, and I do, i...

  • David Mihalyi

    I read the book as wanting to do things: a/ Educate readers on how to be more rational in making judgements / decisions and overcome various biases. b/ Convince readers that rationalist approach label...

  • Cameron

    Thoroughly enjoyed this book, though it is definitely very "Rationalistic" and "Effective altruist" which may bias me somewhat.The book runs through psychological and mind fallacies that we're all pro...