Worldview Intelligence (WVI) is the ability to learn or understand worldview(s), what it mean. To be worldview intelligent is to develop skills that offer ways to address differing worldview situations and invite multiple worldviews or perspectives into a conversation, group or community. The ability to create opportunity and circumstances to use skills, knowledge and awareness to move from differences to progress, for yourself, your organization or community.
Worldview Intelligence begins with awareness: to feel, experience or notice worldview(s) exist, individually, organizationally, in community and across stakeholder groups; to know and understand more about what is happening in the world around you by being or becoming worldview aware.
When we hold a core belief that is very strong, when we are presented with evidence that works against that belief, the new evidence cannot be accepted. It creates a feeling that is extremely uncomfortable and that is called cognitive dissonance. Because, as human beings, it is so important to protect our core beliefs, we will rationalize, ignore and deny that which does not fit with the core belief. Dissonance is especially painful when conflict arises between our view of self and information that disputes that view. So, cognitive dissonance enables us to stay committed to our beliefs.
Confirmation bias is the tendency to look for information, data and facts that support our worldviews, perspectives, opinions and beliefs. Our worldview will deliberately and unconsciously filter out information that does not support our view.
Cultural cognition is the tendency of individuals to conform their beliefs about disputed matters of fact to values that define their cultural identities. Culturally diverse people are motivated by different kinds of information, narratives, character and dramas. We need an inventory of narratives to convey information across different groups. The greater the diversity of a group, the greater the capacity to explore the varying worldviews, the greater the potential to transform difference into progress.
Illusion of Explanatory Depth
People believe that they know way more than they actually do. This informs their opinions. If asked, for example, to explain how a toilet works, their assumption that they actually know is challenged when they try to describe the mechanics of it.
Within a small group and a big group, if negative behavior shows up in the same percentage, we come to believe the small group has more negative behavior.
When we are around people like us, we can become more extreme in our views.
We are more fearful about losing something than we are excited about gaining something that is greater. Ron Hiefetz, author of Leadership Without Easy Answers, notes that leadership is about the management of loss.
Once we have made a decision we have an unconscious tendency to process information in a way that supports and validates our decisions. The more we do this, the more attached we become to our decision or our point of view and the more important it becomes to resist information that threatens our very sense of our identity. We can go to great lengths to support the views we have taken on.
Morality Blinds and Binds
When we share values and morals we are or become part of a “team”. When this happens open minded thinking can shut down with a desire to belong. The desire to belong becomes more important than independent thinking.
As human beings we are born with a built in bias that we are not biased. This makes us believe our own view is reasonable, even if it isn’t.
When we are excited by or anxious about something, we begin to live in the fear of it happening even if it is highly unlikely that it will happen. It is the tendency to completely disregard probability when making choices under uncertainty.
As human beings we have an existential anxiety about death. Cultural worldviews provide us with a sense of order and meaning. To manage our fear of death we want to be with other people who are similar to us. This also means we can become more aggressive or prejudiced to people who are different.