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People who act like they know everything are actually quite dumb, often wrong - study

Pays to keep your eye, ears and mind open.
9 April 2019 4:15PM

Know-it-alls could actually be know-not-that-much-at-alls

We've all been stuck talking to someone who believes they know much more than us about basically everything. But according to a new study, people who are able to admit their own views might not be correct, are in fact, a lot cleverer.

Researchers at Pepperdine University studied the idea of "intellectual humility" and the ability to learn across 1200 participants.

The study, published in The Journal of Positive Psychology, revealed that the 'certainty' of thinking you're always right means you could fail miserably at drawing the right conclusions in many situations.

"Those who believe knowledge is certain are likely to incorrectly draw definitive conclusions from ambiguous evidence," said leader of the study, Dr Elizabeth J. Krumrei-Mancuso.

In other words, they go off on a tangent filled with B.S. statments.

On the other hand, having higher intellectual humility (admiting you might not be right) "was associated with more accurate assessment of one's general knowledge".

"That is, knowing (and being willing to admit) what you don't know may be the first step to seeking new knowledge."

However she said the perception of intellectual humility wasn't quite as accommodating.

"When it comes to beliefs, people tend to appreciate others being open-minded, yet they may also view people who are unsure about their beliefs as weak or they may view those who change their viewpoint as unstable or manipulative," she said. 

It pays to keep your eyes, ears and mind open to new things folks. Just keep that B.S detector close, too.