On Being Wrong

Contributed by: Deb Mashek

On Being Wrong, TED talk by Kathryn Schultz.

Favorite excerpts: "In fact, most of us do everything we can to avoid thinking about being wrong, or at least to avoid the possibility that we ourselves are wrong. We get it in the abstract. We all know everybody in this room makes mistakes. The human species, in general, is fallible -- okay fine. But when it comes down to me, right now, to all the beliefs I hold, here in the present tense, suddenly all of this abstract appreciation of fallibility goes out the window -- and I can't actually think of anything I'm wrong about. And the thing is, the present tense is where we live. We go to meetings in the present tense; we go on family vacations in the present tense; we go to the polls and vote in the present tense. So effectively, we all kind of wind up traveling through life, trapped in this little bubble of feeling very right about everything." "So why do we get stuck in this feeling of being right? One reason, actually, has to do with a feeling of being wrong. So let me ask you guys something...How does it feel -- emotionally -- how does it feel to be wrong? Dreadful, thumbs down, embarrassing -- thank you, these are great answers, but they're answers to a different question. You guys are answering the question: How does it feel to realize you're wrong?...But just being wrong doesn't feel like anything."

Note from Contributor

"I believe that intellectual humility is an essential ingredient for effectively engaging with diverse others, regardless of the form of that diversity. This short TED talk helps make salient the importance of pausing to consider the very real possibility that may of us move through the world with unfounded certainty of our rightness. "