Reality Check: You Aren’t as Objective as You Think.

When is the last time you, or someone you know, changed their stance on a strongly held belief?

If your answer is “ummm…. good question, let me think about that”, you are not alone.

As a scientist newly immersed in the nutrition world, I find its tribal nature to be both striking and alarming. Whether it’s beliefs about which diet is best (ketogenic, vegan, paleo…), the safety of GMO foods, or the superiority of organic foods, we rarely see anyone change camps. You might as well challenge a religious zealot on the existence of God.

A recent transatlantic flight afforded me the opportunity to read: Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me). The book shares insights from two prominent social psychologists, Carol Tavris and Elliot Aronson, into why we cling so tightly to our beliefs, both in the nutrition world and beyond.

As someone who prides herself on being objective in her pursuit of knowledge, this book was a real eye-opener.

Keep reading to learn about how we fool ourselves, implications for science, and how to be your own objectivity watchdog.