Have intellectual humility to make better decisions

Canadian writer Dan Gardner co-authored the book "The Lessons of Superanalysts", along with psychologist and social scientist Philip Tetlock. In the book, based on research of more than twenty years, they argue that most of the predictions made by analysts are stuck, but that there is a small group that can hit long-term scenario readings above average because they use scientific rigo for this. In the following interview he tells a little about one of the most important characteristics of these superpredictors: humility.
YOU S/A – You define it as optimistic skeptics. Why is that?
Dan Gardner – People tend to go to extremes when it comes to predictions. At one end they do not investigate the history of the specialist and rely without hesitation on their prognoses. At the other extreme are the skeptics. We position ourselves in the middle ground because although we believe that our desire to predict is greater than our ability to get it right, we also know that there is some ability to anticipate situations. We will never be seers and gurus able to see the distant future, but some improvements can make a real difference.
YOU S/A – Why is intellectual humility important?
Dan Gardner – Intellectual humility means you can put aside the absolute certainty of your beliefs. Everything is a matter of probability – a choice about something ranging from 1% to 99%. This "probabilistic thinking" is an essential tool for good decision making. And finally, humility means that you know that people make mistakes and that – since you are also a person – you can also make them. This is what psychologists call metacognition, which makes individuals more likely to constantly ask themselves if they are right in their actions and thus correct mistakes.
YOU S/A – In Brazil we are living in a time of political and economic uncertainty in which many people tend to make very inflexible positions. Why does this happen?
Dan Gardner – In a Dutch study volunteers were asked to identify the physiological signs of fear. For one group of employees it was said that they would receive 20 strong electric shocks and for another 17, however, interspersed between light and strong. Then the shocks were given. Who experienced the most fear? The last group because they never knew if the shocks would be mild or intense. We have a deep psychological aversion to uncertainties and so we move away from positions that consider their existence.
Text copied from: https://goo.gl/k7KtnE
Image taken from: https://goo.gl/nGPPCQ