Vulnerability in Nonfiction Writing

When I read popular psychology books, I tend to invest a lot of energy into being appalled when authors appear to be cherry picking evidence to support a thesis rather than trying to create a well-rounded assessment of the evidence for that position.

Finding this at the beginning of the book I’m currently reading (The Mating Mind by Geoffrey Miller) was refreshing:

This book also draws on a wide range of facts and ideas from many areas of science, including psychology, anthropology, evolutionary theory, primatology, archeology, cognitive science, game theory, and behavioral genetics….I won’t pretend to be expert in all these topics….I try to identify which of my arguments are well supported by the current evidence as I understand it, and which still need to be evaluated with further research.

I go back and forth on whether vulnerability is a leadership trait. It’s certainly not in the Trump playbook. But leaders who believe themselves to be invulnerable can drag everyone down with them when it turns out they aren’t.


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