Scott Adams just wrote an interesting piece about how he thinks economists have a unique way of seeing the world. First, he loosely defines an economist as someone who seeks explanations for why things happen. I like that, and it fits with my favorite economist’s view as well (Malcolm Gladwell).He then goes on to explain why economists are especially immune to cognitive dissonance:
I studied economics in college. One thing I’ve noticed is that other people who have studied economics tend to think a similar way. Some of the similarity is probably because it takes a certain kind of person to be interested in economics in the first place. But I’m convinced that the study of economics changes brains in a way I can identify after about five minutes of conversation. In particular, I think the study of economics makes you relatively immune to cognitive dissonance.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_dissonanceThe primary skill of an economist is identifying all of the explanations for various phenomena. Cognitive dissonance is, at its core, the inability to recognize and accept other explanations.
I’m oversimplifying, but you get the point. The more your brain is trained for economics, the less it is susceptible to cognitive dissonance, or so it seems.
I like the way Scott thinks.: