Review: Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don't Know

Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don't Know Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don't Know by Adam M. Grant
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Grant takes a deep dive into the disconnect between human confidence and human knowledge; particularly how humans grapple with the Dunning-Krueger effect.  This dynamic, found in many founds, leaves us to be way more confident about what we know about something, especially, if we have only a basic understanding of it. In many circumstances, we assume we know more than we do and we live in a society that often encourages that. Thus, many of us believe we're all above average on a variety of things, but have no real basis to come to that standpoint.  So Grant explores how this happens in individuals and in groups, while then identifying ways of undoing the potential harm such views can have on us as individuals and throughout society. His goal is not to prove any individual or group wrong but to give them the tools and mechanisms to check to see if they are true, slipping into patterns of assuming too much. He draws upon a range of examples that are both poignant and irreverent to help readers understand how this arises across fields and domains. He even includes an end part where he challenges his own willingness to think again by rethinking the entire premise of the book. I think the book has a lot to offer and yet, for many of us, not a great means of getting there or for a culture as a whole, how to consider this. While he does well to emphasize that things are often much more complex than two-sided topics or a limited range of issues, the means, and energy to expend upon rethinking is still drastically prohibited for many individuals and groups. While I appreciate the premise, I feel like it falls into the popular nonfiction books like Gladwell that make many of us think, "Gosh, this guy is onto something", only for that idea to be a short-hand widely mentioned and rarely understood or utilized.  

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  1. I enjoyed reading your thoughtful review. I especially liked your conclusion.


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