"It takes a lot to admit that you have changed your mind about something, but dozens of leading scientists, scholars and intellectuals have done just that for a New York-based website that describes itself as an influential on-line salon for free thinkers." -Steve Connor, London's Independent-
"When thinking changes your mind, that's philosophy. When God changes your mind, that's faith. When facts change your mind, that's science. And science is what's on the minds of the world-class scientists and thinkers on Edge," said John Brockman, the New York literary agent behind the website.
I've always liked to "keep my options opened". To not get "locked-in". To know I could always change my mind if I decided I had made the wrong decision--get a new job, return the dress to the store, change the color of my house, back out of the deal, move to a new city. Getting married and having children kind of changes that attitude. I have to agree with Dan Gilbert's spin-- one of Edge's 165 contributors-- Read on.
Harvard College Professor of Psychology at Harvard University; Author, Stumbling on Happiness
The Benefit of Being Able to Change My Mind
years ago, I changed my mind about the benefit of being
able to change my mind.
In 2002, Jane Ebert and I discovered that people are generally happier with decisions when they can't undo them. When subjects in our experiments were able to undo their decisions they tended to consider both the positive and negative features of the decisions they had made, but when they couldn't undo their decisions they tended to concentrate on the good features and ignore the bad. As such, they were more satisfied when they made irrevocable than revocable decisions. Ironically, subjects did not realize this would happen and strongly preferred to have the opportunity to change their minds.
Now up until this point I had always believed that love causes marriage. But these experiments suggested to me that marriage could also cause love. If you take data seriously you act on it, so when these results came in I went home and proposed to the woman I was living with. She said yes, and it turned out that the data were right: I love my wife more than I loved my girlfriend.
The willingness to change one's mind is a sign of intelligence, but the freedom to do so comes at a cost.
Some other interesting mind changes found on Edge.
Editor-in Chief, Nature
Ophthalmologist and Neurobiologist, University of California, Davis