Why do we like to be correct?


In this pilot episode of Not Overthinking, we discuss our reasons for starting the podcast, and then have a chat about why we feel the urge to be correct in everyday conversation.

Table of contents

In this pilot episode of Not Overthinking, we discuss our reasons for starting the podcast, and then have a chat about why we feel the urge to be correct in everyday conversation.

Some of the highlights from our discussion:

There are times when social interaction can feel like someone’s trying to score points with or against us. The person thinks they might be scoring a positive point by correcting often a meaningless detail about something trivial but in fact, they might be negatively affecting the conversation dynamic and their own social interaction abilities.

There is an urge of absolute truth which people sometimes value about something that might not be important. Taimur describes this as an antipattern, which is a behaviour people fall into that wasn’t intended. Perhaps it’s ingrained in us during our school years when correct answers score points with teachers but its applicability declines as we get older. However, there are exceptions such as the medical field, where knowing a lot of details and specifics is valued.

In the book Happy by Derren Brown, the writer mentions that we think people want us to be impressive when, in fact, it’s warmth that gets people to connect. Impressing people with the things that you know or accolades that you have achieved, never get people to connect. That being said, in our society, our culture seems to value that idea of ‘being impressive’ even though the emotional impact is limited.

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Listen to Not Overthinking for free

What is this? Not Overthinking is a podcast about happiness, creativity, and the human condition. We talk about things to help us think, do, and be better. Things like social interaction, lifestyle design, mental models...things that are hard to examine, but important to explore. And hopefully, things that make for a fun and interesting chat every week.

Follow Not Overthinking on Twitter: https://twitter.com/noverthinking.

Who are we?

Ali is a junior doctor and YouTuber working in Cambridge, UK. He makes videos about medicine, technology, productivity and lifestyle design. His links: YouTube, Blog, Newsletter, Instagram

Taimur is a data scientist and writer, working on his own startup Causal. He writes on his blog and as a columnist for Medium. His links: Blog, Twitter, Medium, Instagram

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