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‘Original, thought-provoking and a joy to read’ Tim Harford

‘Highly recommended. It’s not easy to become (more of) a scout, but it’s hard not to be inspired by this book’ Rutger Bregman

‘With insights that are both sharp and actionable, The Scout Mindset picks up where Predictably Irrational left off. Reading it will teach you to think more clearly, see yourself more accurately, and be wrong a little less often’ Adam Grant

When it comes to what we believe, humans see what they want to see. In other words, we have what Julia Galef calls a ‘soldier’ mindset. From tribalism and wishful thinking, to rationalising in our personal lives and everything in between, we are driven to defend the ideas we most want to believe – and shoot down those we don’t.

But if we want to get things right more often we should train ourselves to think more like a scout. Unlike the soldier, a scout’s goal isn’t to defend one side over the other. It’s to go out, survey the territory, and come back with as accurate a map as possible. Regardless of what they hope to be the case, above all, the scout wants to know what’s actually true.

In The Scout Mindset, Galef shows that what makes scouts better at getting things right isn’t that they’re smarter or more knowledgeable than everyone else. It’s a handful of emotional skills, habits, and ways of looking at the world – which anyone can learn.

With fascinating examples ranging from how to survive being stranded in the middle of the ocean, to how Jeff Bezos avoids overconfidence, to how superforecasters outperform CIA operatives, to Reddit threads and modern partisan politics, Galef explores why our brains deceive us and what we can do to change the way we think.

Reviews

Drawing on her extensive knowledge of the scientific literature and of popular culture, Julia Galef explores the remarkable human capacity for self-deception - and shows us how we can catch ourselves in the act of fooling ourselves
Philip Tetlock, author of <i>Superforecasting</i>
The Scout Mindset offers an insightful, entertaining and genuinely useful guide to thinking more clearly
Don Moore, author of <i>Perfectly Confident</i>
Julia Galef is an intellectual leader of the rationalist community, and in The Scout Mindset you will find an engaging, clearly written distillation of her very important accumulated wisdom on these topics
Tyler Cowen, author of <i>Big Business</i> and <i>The Great Stagnation</i>
Julia Galef doesn't simply harangue us for not thinking clearly; she diagnoses why we do it, and suggests concrete ways to improve our rationality. This is a book that will make a real difference in how you think
Sean Carroll, author of <i>Something Deeply Hidden</i>