Improved Cores Unwanted

The most interesting thing I learned at the Symposium last weekend was this two year old paper on a survey about enhancement.  Its main result was that the more people considered a feature to be a key part of their identity, the less they wanted to improve it.   Few folks want to improve their empathy, self-confidence, or self-control, while more folks want to enhance their rote memory, math ability, and wakefulness.   I suspect something similar holds for beliefs: the more important a belief is to our identity, the less eager we are to improve that belief via evidence or analysis.  Beware identifying with beliefs!

The paper’s main table:


Hat tip to Anders Sandberg.

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