Beware of your brain

Mariana Mirabile
2 min readMar 6, 2021

Cet article est aussi disponible en français.

Some of the content you will be reading in this series may be surprising and/or counter-intuitive. That was the case for me the first time I read this material.

If your brain is anything like mine (spoiler: it is), its confirmation bias mechanism may be triggered. Confirmation bias is a mechanism in our brain that pushes us to reject any information that is not in line with what we already know, any information that questions our beliefs, our way of doing things. This makes a lot of sense from a biological perspective, as changing our minds takes energy, and the brain is “programmed” to be energy efficient (source).

This mechanism, however, hinders us from keeping an open mind to new ideas and new ways of thinking. And, I am sure you agree, we cannot afford that if we want to have a chance of solving the sustainability crisis.

My proposal in this article is that we team up against our own brains. Firstly, I would like to ask you to be attentive to your own reactions while reading, to be as aware as possible of your own emotions. The objective being that you identify when your mind is about to close down and do not stop reading.

Secondly, I would like to ask you to note down (and share with me if you feel like) any of the following:

  1. What positively surprised you or excited you while reading these articles.
  2. What made your brain go “nonsense” or “she exaggerates”, and/or made you feel tense or nervous.
  3. If you re-read the part that made you feel tense or nervous and you now think there is something interesting there, what changed your mind?
  4. If after re-reading you still think “this is nonsense”, please (please!) tell me why. I will do my best to control my own confirmation bias mechanism and change my mind in turn.

Should you agree to share this information with me, you can do that as a comment in the articles or by putting in touch in Linkedin. I will respond.

Ready to be uncomfortable? Go to the next article

This article is part of a series of articles. An introduction to the series is here.



Mariana Mirabile

I am an economist with a passion to improve systems. All views are my own.