TED Conversations

Bernard White


This conversation is closed.

Why do people find it so hard to admit their wrong? And how can we improve upon this? (If this is the case)

This debate is quite a risky one :D Because if I am wrong and don't admit it, it will seem like a ironic twist of fate? (/paradox)
I read a book recently called : Mistakes were made but not by me. Which was a very good book and explained in great detail how the "theory of Cognitive Dissonance" made it very hard to get people to admit they are wrong.
A quick example would be : "I am rational, (s)he is disagreeing with me, and (s)he must be irrational" Even though you can both be perfectly rational and logical.
Though I think this is one of the fundamental problems is this fundamental fact. For if people could admit they were wrong, a lot of positive things could come out of it.
I "believe" that in China this is the case, how introversion, and accepting that you could be wrong is viewed as a positive.
While a recent TED talk a watched revealed that people feel that the other is wrong due to 3 reasons :
1. Their stupid.
2. They have the wrong data. (Once you realize their not stupid.)
3. They must be ignorant or evil. (Because they have the right data and are intelligent.)
While another thing I feel I must mention is the fundamental attribution error, is where we view other people failing as disposition (Their stupid) and their success as situational (They were lucky). And our own success as disposition (I'm a genius) and our failures as situational (it was just a hard exam/ I was unlucky).
Also the optimism bias, makes us believe "smoking kills, just the other guy" in the way this is the same context as admitting humility to the fact smoking will probably kill you!


Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb

    Gail . 50+

    • +1
    Mar 26 2013: One who has a high EQ has no problem admitting mistakes. Those who love learning can only become more by knowing truth. If there is a mistake, I cannot learn from it unless I know about it.

    People with low EQs don't look at it the same way. That's because they live in their fears, never having learned how to walk through them.
    • thumb
      Mar 26 2013: But don't you will power (/ self control) has something to so with it?
      Or the culture we have made which encourages us to not admit we are wrong? And how saying things with confidence is viewed as a positive, even when we don't know much about it. (Might be wrong on this though!)
      • thumb
        Mar 26 2013: Saying things with confidence even though you don't know much about the subject is not viewed as a positive, as soon as people figure out that's what you're doing. Then it's a negative. That is something that low EQ people do.

        People with high EQs control their emotions, rather than allow themselves to be controlled by them. That doesn't involve will-power. It involves self-respect.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.