from day 01/10/2021

Why assholes are more likely to be wrong

Sometimes, we form beliefs that we anticipate others will disagree with—from thinking a movie our friends unanimously loved was terrible, to developing a new scientific theory that upsets the current paradigm. Typically, our audience’s first reaction will be to think we’re dead wrong. They might even be offended. And maybe they’re right! In which case, not only did we risk offending friends or colleagues, we also look silly. Is it better to say nothing, then? But what if we are right? We might be depriving others of a great idea, or fail to correct a grave misconception, and pass on a chance to improve our status by doing so (see, e.g., Altay et al., 2020).

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