Discussion article for the meetup : Montreal - How to Actually Change your Mind
Montreal Less Wrong won't be meeting officially over the holidays due to several of us having busy schedules. However, send me a message on Less Wrong if you want to meet some fellow Less Wrongers over the holidays! In January, we'll be having a meetup intended for newcomers to rationality. We'll look at some concrete 5-second level mental skills that can help us overcome mental obstacles to actually updating on evidence. Here's the description from the meetup.com page: People aren't very good at changing their minds when their ideas are challenged. Have you ever been in an argument with someone, and no matter how much evidence you showed them that they were wrong, they would just become more and more convinced that YOU are the one who's wrong? That is a common human trait called reactance, where trying to get people to change their minds polarizes them in the other direction. That's one example out of several cognitive biases that can prevent us from realizing we're wrong, and this can sometimes have disastrous consequences. We'll take a look at some classic biases that might prevent us from updating our opinions, and try to pin down specific mental skills you can use to fix your thinking and actually update on evidence. Let me know if the date is good with everyone; the venue is subject to change once we have a better idea of how many people we'll be. Hope to see you there!