Sibley on Overconfidence

Sibley on Overconfidence

I was fortunate to hear David Sibley, the genius behind Sibley Guides, give a talk during the Verde Valley Birding and Nature Festival a couple years ago. He described a handful of reasons why good birders make mistakes, linking them to how the human brain works. His post (link above) explains one aspect of this topic. The brain’s desire to create a coherent narrative leads us to assume, incorrectly, that any such narrative our brains can devise must be true. I’m cheered by his statement that, “Admitting mistakes forces us to reconsider and rewrite the narrative, and we get better at bird identification by developing a richer and more nuanced library of scenarios to describe our sightings.”

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