Listen to this story

--:--

--:--

source: pexels

The Falsification Mindset: How to Change Your Own Mind

A simple practice to boost intelligence, avoid cognitive bias, and prove your own ideas wrong

Mike Sturm
Oct 17, 2017 · 8 min read
Karl Popper

Why is falsification important?

My suggestion is that the spirit of Popper’s principle can help us become smarter and make better decisions — in both professional and personal realms. Adopting an attitude of falsifiability does a few key things:

  • it makes you a clearer thinker by forcing you to be specific about what you think you know, and what evidence you have
  • it boosts your creative thinking by making you naturally more receptive to new ideas and helping you more quickly process them

Putting the falsification mindset into action

The falsifiability mindset is all about thinking through the implications of beliefs, judgments, and decisions. It’s about curbing your craving for certainty. Adopting this mindset is as easy as picking up a simple practice.

  • confronts the possibility that you could be wrong
  • encourages you to tacitly commit to changing your mind under some specific conditions
An often-cited example of falsifiability: the statement that ‘all swans are white’ can be proven false by finding evidence of the existence of a single black swan. (Photo by David Cohen on Unsplash)

My personal falsification story

One of my strongest-held beliefs was that in order to be professionally fulfilled, I needed to be a professor of philosophy.

  • teaching others to do the same
  • reading interesting and thought provoking stuff

How you can adopt a falsification mindset

Adopting the falsification mindset is simple. Like any exercise in thinking, it helps if you write it out, but that’s not totally necessary.

  • Be specific about what evidence would make you change your mind
  • Seek out that evidence, and be willing to change your belief if you find it

Better Humans

Better Humans is a collection of the world's most trustworthy writing on human potential and self improvement by coaches, academics, and aggressive self-experimenters. Articles are based on deep personal experience, science, and research. No fluff, book reports, or listicles.

Thanks to Coach Tony

Mike Sturm

Written by

Working tirelessly to help you think like no one else. If you find that I do that for you, subscribe to my newsletter: https://goo.gl/UhzUYL.

Better Humans

Better Humans is a collection of the world's most trustworthy writing on human potential and self improvement by coaches, academics, and aggressive self-experimenters. Articles are based on deep personal experience, science, and research. No fluff, book reports, or listicles.

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade