Daniel Kahneman: Adversarial Collaboration

Daniel Kahneman:  There are different forms of adversarial collaboration.  So one form is that you have people who disagree on some theoretical issue trying to conduct experiments that will resolve their differences or reduce their differences. And that is the first step in adversarial collaboration, let’s see what we agree on and then let’s try to trade our differences. 

In some cases they’re friends, so you can easily agree, although you agree that when you write up the results you will write them in two voices, so you don’t not commit yourself to agreeing on the interpretation of the result.  Sometimes you need an arbiter to run the experiment.  That is when relations are more tense. Instead of the reply and rejoinder format you can agree to write a joint article in which you first settle what you agree on and then what you disagree on.  

You have to be willing not to win, that is you have to be willing to accept a draw and to see that in the interest of science and civility and other things a draw is better than a win. I happen to find a few people who are willing to do that.  By the way, it is not easy because people who think poorly of your work and of your ideas get on your nerves and so you have to overcome that.

The best of example of adversarial collaboration that I have had was on issues of the boundaries of intuition. When is intuition marvelous and when is it flawed and it was with Gary Klein, who is a well-known author who was a great proponent of expert intuition. And so we worked for six or seven years together trying to hammer out our differences about whether intuition is valid or not and we came out with an article that was actually--well, it was a bit in two voices--but on most things we agreed. And that was the best adversarial collaboration of all.   

Directed/Produced by

Jonathan Fowler & Elizabeth Rodd

 

The ego-clashes we tend to excuse among high-achievers are dangerously counterproductive when it comes to advancing human knowledge.

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Sponsored
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

Can the keto diet help treat depression? Here’s what the science says so far

A growing body of research shows promising signs that the keto diet might be able to improve mental health.

Public Domain
Mind & Brain
  • The keto diet is known to be an effective tool for weight loss, however its effects on mental health remain largely unclear.
  • Recent studies suggests that the keto diet might be an effective tool for treating depression, and clearing up so-called "brain fog," though scientists caution more research is necessary before it can be recommended as a treatment.
  • Any experiments with the keto diet are best done in conjunction with a doctor, considering some people face problems when transitioning to the low-carb diet.
Keep reading Show less

If you want to spot a narcissist, look at the eyebrows

Bushier eyebrows are associated with higher levels of narcissism, according to new research.

Big Think illustration / Actor Peter Gallagher attends the 24th and final 'A Night at Sardi's' to benefit the Alzheimer's Association at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on March 9, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
popular
  • Science has provided an excellent clue for identifying the narcissists among us.
  • Eyebrows are crucial to recognizing identities.
  • The study provides insight into how we process faces and our latent ability to detect toxic people.
Keep reading Show less

Want to age gracefully? A new study says live meaningfully

Thinking your life is worthwhile is correlated with a variety of positive outcomes.

YOSHIKAZU TSUNO/AFP/Getty Images
Surprising Science
  • A new study finds that adults who feel their lives are meaningful have better health and life outcomes.
  • Adults who felt their lives were worthwhile tended to be more social and had healthier habits.
  • The findings could be used to help improve the health of older adults.
Keep reading Show less