Correctness in the GSoT

JoAnna Bennett

JoAnna Bennett, O’Brien Communications Group

7 March 2019

We humans like to believe we’re correct. We have a cognitive bias hardwired in our brains to seek information that reinforces what we believe to be correct – or our un-wrongness. The feeling of winning and knowing our thought processes are vindicated gives us a rush of serotonin. But like most things that provide instantaneous pleasure, it’s probably something we should be wary of. While there are certain scientific and mathematical areas to which right and wrong can be applied, in the grand scheme of things (GSoT), rightness or wrongness is like beauty: It’s in the eye of the beholder.

Ever get in a political argument? If not, have you ever read one? Each side touts its own facts while reputing those of the opponent. Which person is right? Which person is wrong? Do you think the person you tend to agree with is right? Perhaps politics isn’t your thing. Ever watch an MMA match that came down to the decision? Before the referee held up the winner’s arm, did you choose who’d win? Were you right? Or wrong? What did you do next – celebrate or defend?

In Like a Lion

While researching the origin of the proverb “March comes in like a lion and out like a lamb.”, I ran into an interesting comment from a British weekly satire magazine, Punch, from the April 8, 1865 edition:

The month just departed in cold and snow has not exactly verified the popular saying, that is March comes in like a Lion he goes out like a Lamb. This year, indeed, March came in like a Lion, but went out like a White Bear.

If you live in the Northeast, I think you’ll attest to the fact that this March came in like a lion. In the matter of a few days, we had more snowfall than we’ve had all winter. But will March go out like a lamb, or a white bear? I’m going to fight the urge to try to seek the answer to that question. Either way, I’ll have a 50/50 shot at being right. And in the GSoT, does it matter what the outcome is? I’d prefer a lamb, but if the white bear comes, I’ll certainly be able to handle the white fluff accumulating in my backyard.

I’m working on a cognitive bias toward acceptance.