Cognitive style

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Certain cognitive styles might tend to produce more accurate results. A common distinction between cognitive styles is that of foxes vs. hedgehogs, based on Isiah Berlin's famous essay.

Foxes and Hedgehogs=

This common distinction comes primarily from the essay "The Hedgehog and the Fox" by Isiah Berlin, regarding the Russian author Leo Tolstoy's theory of history.

The title is a reference to a fragment attributed to the ancient Greek poet Archilochus: πόλλ' οἶδ' ἀλώπηξ, ἐχῖνος δ'ἓν μέγα ("The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing").

Berlin expands upon this idea to divide writers and thinkers into two categories: hedgehogs, who view the world through the lens of a single defining idea and foxes who draw on a wide variety of experiences and for whom the world cannot be boiled down to a single idea.

This distinction is used by Philip Tetlock in the book Expert Political Judgement, which concludes that foxes tend to be better calibrated and more accurate.


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