There is a Cathy in all of us
I don’t believe it would be contentious to make the following claims, as there seems to ample scientific evidence that they are true – at least to the extent that any social science can make a claim for truth.
Whilst, in the spirit of full disclosure, I would admit that I am judging anyone who engages with the world in this way; my personal judgement is not relevant to the observations that follow, so for the sake of the argument let’s just assume that how people choose to interact (more or less intellectually) is neither here nor there. If you think reading WHO magazine is a desirable form of life engagement, then that is okay.
People generally make decisions that are influenced by unconscious biases. More specifically, people make buying decisions largely based on emotional factors, only to rationalise those decisions afterwards.
Most people don’t seem to think deeply about the world – as there is very little evidence that the average person (whatever that may mean) engages philosophically with the world around them. Judging by what is popular in music and art and entertainment and even news; once would be har-pressed to make an argument to say the general population is overtly interested in intellectual pursuits.
Given the overwhelming evidence that we don’t really think – but rather respond to emotional stimuli – we (myself included) are effectively closed-minded.
But, if you want to understand what it looks like when even smart people have a closed mind, then watch the interview Cathy Newman had with Jordan Peterson.
I am not sure how many people are aware of Peterson and this now infamous interview, but even if you are not, maybe especially if you are not, and even if you are not interested in the particular topic under discussion, you can learn something about how a closed mind manifest itself in the real world.
This is how one commentator described the interview:
Peterson, backed by decades’ worth of research and experience, and now with dozens of hostile interviews under his belt, is hard to faze. Where the average guest is routinely bowled over, flattened or burnt to a crisp, Peterson stood fast, stated facts with precision and patience, and let Newman’s credibility shatter against him. You have to wonder if she’ll ever utter the phrase “so you’re saying” again without blushing.
Watch (if you haven’t) and try keep an open mind:
PS: At first glance a talk about gender/diversity/free speech may seem odd for a business blog - but the purpose here is to expose how we don't think the way we think we think.