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Give and Take


Option B


An imprint of Penguin Random House LLC


Copyright © 2021 by Adam Grant

Penguin supports copyright. Copyright fuels creativity, encourages diverse voices, promotes free speech, and creates a vibrant culture. Thank you for buying an authorized edition of this book and for complying with copyright laws by not reproducing, scanning, or distributing any part of it in any form without permission. You are supporting writers and allowing Penguin to continue to publish books for every reader.

Owing to limitations of space, image credits can be found on this page.

Unless otherwise noted, charts illustrated by Matt Shirley.

library of congress cataloging-in-publication data

Names: Grant, Adam M., author.

Title: Think again : the power of knowing what you don’t know / Adam Grant.

Description: [New York, New York] : Viking, [2021] | Includes bibliographical references and index.

Identifiers: LCCN 2020035237 (print) | LCCN 2020035238 (ebook) | ISBN 9781984878106 (hardcover) | ISBN 9781984878113 (ebook) |

ISBN 9780593298749 (international edition)

Subjects: LCSH: Thought and thinking. | Questioning. | Knowledge, Theory of. | Belief and doubt.

Classification: LCC BF441 .G693 2021 (print) | LCC BF441 (ebook) | DDC 153.4/2—dc23

LC record available at https://lccn.loc.gov/2020035237

LC ebook record available at https://lccn.loc.gov/2020035238

Book design by Daniel Lagin

While the author has made every effort to provide accurate telephone numbers, internet addresses, and other contact information at the time of publication, neither the publisher nor the author assumes any responsibility for errors or for changes that occur after publication. Further, the publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party websites or their content.


To Kaan, Jeremy, and Bill,

My three oldest friends—one thing I won’t rethink



PART I. Individual Rethinking

Updating Our Own Views

1. A Preacher, a Prosecutor, a Politician, and a Scientist Walk into Your Mind

2. The Armchair Quarterback and the Impostor: Finding the Sweet Spot of Confidence

3. The Joy of Being Wrong: The Thrill of Not Believing Everything You Think

4. The Good Fight Club: The Psychology of Constructive Conflict

PART II. Interpersonal Rethinking

Opening Other People’s Minds

5. Dances with Foes: How to Win Debates and Influence People

6. Bad Blood on the Diamond: Diminishing Prejudice by Destabilizing Stereotypes

7. Vaccine Whisperers and Mild-Mannered Interrogators: How the Right Kind of Listening Motivates People to Change

PART III. Collective Rethinking

Creating Communities of Lifelong Learners

8. Charged Conversations: Depolarizing Our Divided Discussions

9. Rewriting the Textbook: Teaching Students to Question Knowledge

10. That’s Not the Way We’ve Always Done It: Building Cultures of Learning at Work

PART IV. Conclusion

11. Escaping Tunnel Vision: Reconsidering Our Best-Laid Career and Life Plans


Actions for Impact



Illustration Credits



After a bumpy flight, fifteen men dropped from the Montana sky. They weren’t skydivers. They were smokejumpers: elite wildland firefighters parachuting in to extinguish a forest fire started by lightning the day before. In a matter of minutes, they would be racing for their lives.

The smokejumpers landed near the top of Mann Gulch late on a scorching August afternoon in 1949. With the fire visible across the gulch, they made their way down the slope toward the Missouri River. Their plan was to dig a line in the soil around the fire to contain it and direct it toward an area where there wasn’t much to burn.

After hiking about a quarter mile, the foreman, Wagner Dodge, saw that the fire had leapt across the gulch and was heading straight at them. The flames stretched as high as 30 feet in the air. Soon the fire would be blazing fast enough to cross the length of two football fields in less than a minute.

By 5:45 p.m. it was clear that even containing the fire was off the table. Realizing it was time to shift gears from fight to flight, Dodge immediately turned the crew around to run back up the slope. The smokejumpers had to bolt up an extremely steep incline, through knee-high grass on rocky terrain. Over the next eight minutes they traveled nearly 500 yards, leaving the top of the ridge less than 200 yards away.

With safety in sight but the fire swiftly advancing, Dodge did something that baffled his crew. Instead of trying to outrun the fire, he stopped and bent over. He took out a matchbook, started lighting matches, and threw them into the grass. “We thought he must have gone nuts,” one later recalled. “With the fire almost on our back, what the hell is the boss doing lighting another fire in front of us?” He thought to himself: That bastard Dodge is trying to burn me to death. It’s no surprise that the crew didn’t follow Dodge when he waved his arms toward his fire and yelled, “Up! Up this way!”

What the smokejumpers didn’t realize was that Dodge had devised a survival strategy: he was building an escape fire. By burning the grass ahead of him, he cleared the area of fuel for the wildfire to feed on. He then poured water from his canteen onto his handkerchief, covered his mouth with it, and lay facedown in the charred area for the next fifteen minutes. As the wildfire raged directly above him, he survived in the oxygen close to the ground.

Tragically, twelve of the smokejumpers perished. A pocket watch belonging to one of the victims was later found with the hands melted at 5:56 p.m.

Why did only three of the smokejumpers survive? Physical fitness might have been a factor; the other two survivors managed to outrun the fire and reach the crest of the ridge. But Dodge prevailed because of his mental fitness.

When people reflect on what it takes to be mentally fit, the first idea that comes to mind is usually intelligence. The smarter you are, the more complex the problems you can solve—and the faster you can solve them. Intelligence is traditionally viewed as the ability to think and learn. Yet in a turbulent world, there’s another set of

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