Thursday, January 24, 2008

Aquiring knowledge outside the box

For many people it seems to be difficult to pay attention to information that is not matching their existing beliefs. Even if you are able to search for anything and find an abundance of correct information on the internet you may simply choose to ignore what is not according to your view.

Researchers from University of New South Wales have found that providing people with the right information on its own does not seem to be enough. As one of the researchers, UNSW Professor Enrico Coiera states: “Even if people read the right material, they are stubborn to changing their views." The study was conducted in the area of health, but i would agree that this is true in most disciplines, especially in IT.

In order to avoid being stubborn we need to constantly question our beliefs, and keep an open mind towards new ideas, but evaluate them in a skeptic way. The real difficult part is however to be able to know what to look for if your beliefs and world view is biased. Only remedy i can think of is to obtain and interact with information from very many disciplines and views, even if the information is of no apparent use, and this way at least become biased in very many ways.

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