|MINDWISE BY NICHOLAS EPLEY
Review by Dwight
Last month I attended a conference in Chicago. The Investment Management Consultants Association puts on a number of educational conferences for members; I have always found them well worth attending. Among the speakers are often Nobel laureates, senior government officials, and thought leaders from America’s greatest universities. In Chicago, Nicholas Epley, the John T. Keller Professor of Behavioral Science at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, took the stage for 90 minutes, discussing myths about ethical behavior, and how organizations can manage ethical behavior more effectively. Epley has been awarded the Distinguished Scientific Award for Early Career Contribution to Psychology from the American Psychological Association… his speaking skills match his academic pedigree.
So when my conference package included a free copy of his critically acclaimed book “Mindwise: Why We misunderstand What Others Think, Believe, Feel, and Want”, I looked forward to his insights. I was not disappointed. His book is about mindreading. Not the clairvoyant, psychic kind… he is talking about your real sixth sense… your ability to infer what others are thinking, feeling, wanting, or intending. This ability, which originates in your medial prefrontal cortex, forms the basis of all social interaction: it’s what allows large societies to function. And [plot spoiler alert here ladies and gentlemen], the vast majority of us are terrible at it! I mean really terrible. Talk about subjective reality. We have no clue what others are really thinking (which may not be as surprising a statement after recent events like Brexit and the US election). Read this book. It will open your mind, and perhaps provide you skills to improve and enhance your ability to see the world as others do, to understand the minds of others, and most of all, to better understand your own.