A recent Skeptics’ Guide had a great tip on not getting emotionally attached to conclusions. This is definitely a failing of mine. Ask me whether organic food is worth buying and you’ll get a fairly vitriolic, non-measured response. This is mainly because I don’t like seeing people bilked, but I’m way more attached to the organic-food-sucks conclusion than I should be. I doubt I’d change my responses appropriately if the consensus opinion started to shift. This is particularly bad when you consider I don’t actively follow the latest research, and that ‘organic’ has many different meanings. So I need to stop doing that.
Steve Novella’s tip? Get emotionally attached to the process, not the conclusion. Fetishize the scientific method. Demand that appropriate evidence is analysed properly, and then accept whatever conclusion pops out. This also helps with spotting pseudoscience, and some kinds of logical fallacies, which start with the conclusion and search for evidence to back it up.
Sounds reasonable. I’ll give it a go.