Express your confidence in the accuracy of your belief in percentages

(Excerpt from Thinking In Bets by Annie Duke)

… we also rated our level of confidence about the accuracy of our belief on a scale of zero to ten? Zero would mean we are certain a belief is not true. Ten would mean we are certain that our belief is true. A zero-to-ten scale translates directly to percentages. If you think the belief rates a three, that means you are 30% sure the belief is accurate. A nine means you are 90% sure.

… Incorporating uncertainty in the way we think about what we believe creates open-mindedness, moving us closer to a more objective stance toward information that disagrees with us. We are less likely to succumb to motivated reasoning since it feels better to make small adjustments in degrees of certainty instead of having to grossly downgrade from “right” to “wrong.” When confronted with new evidence, it is a very different narrative to say, “I was 58% but now I’m 46%.” That doesn’t feel nearly as bad as “I thought I was right but now I’m wrong.” Our narrative of being a knowledgeable, educated, intelligent person who holds quality opinions isn’t compromised when we use new information to calibrate our beliefs, compared with having to make a full-on reversal. This shifts us away from treating information that disagrees with us as a threat, as something we have to defend against, making us better able to truthseek.

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