Archive for the ‘Simon and Garfunkel’ Category

Want to Learn? Put Aside Your Ideologies

October 9, 2007

Ideology is among the more widespread, potent, and vexing impediments to clearly seeing the facts. People routinely ignore evidence when it clashes with their political convictions or idiosyncratic personal histories. Simon and Garfunkel were right when they sang, “A man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest.”

Academics and other thought leaders may worship and believe in their own theories so fervently that it renders them incapable of learning from new evidence. This happens because people “see what they believe.”

Regrettably, too often ideology trumps evidence.

Learning is difficult when leaders or anyone else is driven by ideology rather than evidence.

Hard Facts by Jeffrey Pfeffer and Robert I. Sutton