(28) The Mighty Anecdote

Exploring the nature of ‘anecdotal evidence,’ why it’s so enticing, and why we all engage in it. The power of the anecdote or story resides in what stories are: the creation of causal connections within our perception. We are declaring what we believe the world to be. That so many of our stories contain bias, the need to know we are right is also explored, along with why bias doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with our rationality or our minds.

 

Thankfully, questioning our stories doesn’t require us to act as if we’re cast adrift in a world without meaning and truth. What it does require of us is a willingness to accept the limits of perspective and to actively engage in more perspective-taking.

A Universe of Perspective

Anecdote

anecdote

An anecdote is a short amusing or interesting story about a real incident or person. As we explore metaphor, anecdotes, perspective, and bias, we will see how each powerfully frames the stories we tell, and how each story hides as much as it reveals. When we focus on one anecdote, we see only the things we relate to that story and disregard information that is in conflict. Learning to question our stories, to see each situation from a variety of viewpoints, increases our perspective.

As our perspective expands, we grow our resilience, the ability to deal with people and situations that do not agree with our point of view. We become more aware of what we value and the variety of behaviors that will satisfy them. We can find common ground with a broader audience. We can increase our spectrum of choice, and our experience of freedom.

Further exploration: The Mind Club by Daniel Wegner


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