Why intellectual humility is the answer with Shauna Bowes

Interview by
Dr. Chad Prevost
Dr. Shelley Prevost
Published on

In this episode

Shauna Bowes is a graduate practicum student at Nia. She is currently pursuing her PhD in Clinical Psychology at Emory University. She most recently completed a clinical practicum working with treatment-resistant depression, and she has worked with diverse clients (including adolescents and adults from various ethnic and cultural backgrounds) in therapy and assessment.

Shauna tells us why intellectual humility is critical for our self-understanding and how it extends to empathy and greater dialogue. More and more we live in echo chambers that are breeding grounds for confirmation bias. She tells us that “the tendency to favorably interpret information that supports one’s beliefs while denying, dismissing, and distorting information that does not. We know that confirmation bias can be harmful across settings and contribute to ideological extremism.” One of the antidotes to this is intellectual humility.

She also tells us about her new blog on Psychology Today called, “Don’t Believe Everything You Think.”

Our Discussion

4:08 Shauna shares how we become so fused with what we think that it's hard to understand or appreciate that we might be wrong

5:53 What is intellectual humility

7:16 Shauna explains that there is some evidence that we can increase intellectual humility with certain primes or manipulations but that there is also evidence that it's pretty stable

9:07 We discuss cognitive empathy and affective empathy and their correlation to intellectual humility

10:20 Intellectual humility versus general humility and the emotional element of our thoughts and beliefs

12:03 We discuss the role open-mindedness plays in intellectual humility

15:22 How being aware of our own limitations and humble about our beliefs allows us to be forgiving and tolerate of differences

17:50 We discuss how the goal of every conversation doesn't have to be to change the other person's mind

20:40 Shauna explains the power of metacognition and focusing on I statements

23:34 We discuss intellectual humility and the link to distress tolerance, how to recognize when your emotions are taking control and implementing a break system

25:10 Shauna shares how you can change your story by going from 100% certainty to 99% certainty

29:39 Shauna shares her two guiding principles for growth

Guest Speakers

Shauna Bowes