13 min

The Questions to Ask Yourself in an Argument The Science of Happiness

    • Social Sciences

Our guest explores how reminding yourself that you don't know everything can have a profound impact on your relationships, and our society.

Episode summary:

Jinho “Piper” Ferreira is a playwright, a rapper, and a former deputy sheriff. His band Flipsyde toured the world, but Jinho wanted to make real change to end police violence against his community – so he became a deputy sheriff himself. He was on the force for eight years before resigning in 2019. Jinho joins us today after trying a practice in cultivating intellectual humility. It asks us to consider how our memories and understanding of the world might be fallible, so we might not have all the answers. When Jinho tapped into the practice during a disagreement with a bandmate, he was able to navigate the conflict and come to a resolution.

Check out Jinho’s band, Flipsyde: https://flipsyde.com/

Try this practice: Cultivate Intellectual Humility

If you can, write out your answers.


When you encounter information or an opinion that contradicts your opinion or worldview, ask yourself these questions:


Why do you disagree?

Are you making any assumptions about the other person and the source of their opinion?

Might those assumptions be wrong?

What about your own opinion, how did you come to believe it?

Do you really have all of the information?


Now think about the scenario from the perspective of a person who disagrees with you. Try to imagine how they came to believe what they believe.
What information might they be basing their opinion off of?
What values do you think they’re weighing in how they think about this topic?
Can you imagine how they came to hold those values?
If you find yourself getting stuck, imagine yourself as a third person weighing in with an opinion that’s different from both of yours. Try to generate an entirely new perspective. Can you think of another way to understand this issue?


3. Tap into your intellectual humility:


Identify places where, before, you weren’t acknowledging the limitations of what you know about the issue. Can you find any?
Now that you’ve worked to see this issue from another person’s point of view, do you see more value in their perspective than you were able to see before?
What other ways do you engage with viewpoints that challenge your own? Do you notice any patterns?


Today’s guests:

Jinho “Piper” Ferreira is a rapper in the Band Flipsyde, a former deputy sheriff, and playwright.

Follow Jinho on Twitter: https://twitter.com/pipedreamzent?lang=en

Listen to the episode of Snap Judgment podcast about Jinho’s story: https://snapjudgment.org/episode/jinhos-journey/



Elizabeth Krumrei-Mancuso is a professor of psychology at Pepperdine University who studies intellectual humility.

Learn more about Dr. Krumrei-Mancuso and her work: https://tinyurl.com/2t6aaa5f

Check out Dr. Krumrei-Mancuso’s article on intellectual humility: https://tinyurl.com/526m8b93



More resources about Intellectual Humility:

Intellectual humility: the importance of knowing you might be wrong: https://tinyurl.com/m2ct29m7

Five Reasons Why Intellectual Humility Is Good for You: https://tinyurl.com/4dnx5vu4

The Benefits of Admitting When You Don’t Know: https://tinyurl.com/4frk84k8

Share your thoughts on this episode and intellectual humility by emailing us at happinesspod@berkeley.edu or using the hashtag #happinesspod.

Help us share The Science of Happiness! Leave us a 5-star review on Apple Podcasts or copy and share this link with someone who might like the show: pod.link/1340505607

This episode was supported by a grant from the John Templeton Foundation, as part of our project on "Expanding Awareness of the Science of Intellectual Humility." For more on the project, go to www.ggsc.berkeley.edu/IH.

Our guest explores how reminding yourself that you don't know everything can have a profound impact on your relationships, and our society.

Episode summary:

Jinho “Piper” Ferreira is a playwright, a rapper, and a former deputy sheriff. His band Flipsyde toured the world, but Jinho wanted to make real change to end police violence against his community – so he became a deputy sheriff himself. He was on the force for eight years before resigning in 2019. Jinho joins us today after trying a practice in cultivating intellectual humility. It asks us to consider how our memories and understanding of the world might be fallible, so we might not have all the answers. When Jinho tapped into the practice during a disagreement with a bandmate, he was able to navigate the conflict and come to a resolution.

Check out Jinho’s band, Flipsyde: https://flipsyde.com/

Try this practice: Cultivate Intellectual Humility

If you can, write out your answers.


When you encounter information or an opinion that contradicts your opinion or worldview, ask yourself these questions:


Why do you disagree?

Are you making any assumptions about the other person and the source of their opinion?

Might those assumptions be wrong?

What about your own opinion, how did you come to believe it?

Do you really have all of the information?


Now think about the scenario from the perspective of a person who disagrees with you. Try to imagine how they came to believe what they believe.
What information might they be basing their opinion off of?
What values do you think they’re weighing in how they think about this topic?
Can you imagine how they came to hold those values?
If you find yourself getting stuck, imagine yourself as a third person weighing in with an opinion that’s different from both of yours. Try to generate an entirely new perspective. Can you think of another way to understand this issue?


3. Tap into your intellectual humility:


Identify places where, before, you weren’t acknowledging the limitations of what you know about the issue. Can you find any?
Now that you’ve worked to see this issue from another person’s point of view, do you see more value in their perspective than you were able to see before?
What other ways do you engage with viewpoints that challenge your own? Do you notice any patterns?


Today’s guests:

Jinho “Piper” Ferreira is a rapper in the Band Flipsyde, a former deputy sheriff, and playwright.

Follow Jinho on Twitter: https://twitter.com/pipedreamzent?lang=en

Listen to the episode of Snap Judgment podcast about Jinho’s story: https://snapjudgment.org/episode/jinhos-journey/



Elizabeth Krumrei-Mancuso is a professor of psychology at Pepperdine University who studies intellectual humility.

Learn more about Dr. Krumrei-Mancuso and her work: https://tinyurl.com/2t6aaa5f

Check out Dr. Krumrei-Mancuso’s article on intellectual humility: https://tinyurl.com/526m8b93



More resources about Intellectual Humility:

Intellectual humility: the importance of knowing you might be wrong: https://tinyurl.com/m2ct29m7

Five Reasons Why Intellectual Humility Is Good for You: https://tinyurl.com/4dnx5vu4

The Benefits of Admitting When You Don’t Know: https://tinyurl.com/4frk84k8

Share your thoughts on this episode and intellectual humility by emailing us at happinesspod@berkeley.edu or using the hashtag #happinesspod.

Help us share The Science of Happiness! Leave us a 5-star review on Apple Podcasts or copy and share this link with someone who might like the show: pod.link/1340505607

This episode was supported by a grant from the John Templeton Foundation, as part of our project on "Expanding Awareness of the Science of Intellectual Humility." For more on the project, go to www.ggsc.berkeley.edu/IH.

13 min

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