Look for Opposite Views Instead of Confirming Ones

  • actively look for views "against" what we believe/learn - and trying to understand them
  • this is a countermeasure for the feedback loop of looking for confirmation for what we believe, and learning only more confirmation, closing us from different views / the "truth"
  • looking for confirmation is opposite of a scientific method - we have an outcome in mind and want to find points for supporting it, instead of starting from observations, and coming to a conclusion

Google the subject term or phrase followed by the word controversy or opposition... If you don't find a lot, try rebuttal, refuted, arguments against.


  • references:
    • confirmation bias is the bias of looking for information that confirm what we already believe

The classic role model would be Charles Darwin. He forced himself to write down (and therefore elaborate on) the arguments that were the most critical of his theories

How to Take Smart Notes

Szymon Kaliski © 2021