Robbie Maltby

April 2, 2021

The Pyramid of Beliefs

Every day we make 100s if not 1,000s of decisions.

From choosing to brush our teeth in the morning, to deciding which candidate to hire at work.

To save time and energy we ‘chunk’ information, looking out for patterns and supporting facts - which end up forming our habits and routines.

This is a key evolutionary trait and without it most of human civilisation wouldn’t exist. In fact, we’re so good at it that we feel certain about what we believe most of the time.

Where it all breaks down is when a habit or routine we’ve solidified is challenged in some way. For example, we were told over many years that saturated fat was bad for us. But even when research showed this to be mistaken it took a long time for people to see it differently, and many still don’t.

We’ve seen so many images and listened to so many accounts of saturated fat being bad that it’s really hard to change our minds.

This inability to think differently can be explained by the pyramid of beliefs, and it’s worthwhile getting aquatinted with.

In short, it’s an explanation of how we build beliefs upon beliefs in order to make decisions. And when foundational beliefs are challenged, we often simply can’t afford (psychologically) to question ourselves.

It’ll help you understand why people can’t see the wood from the trees sometimes, and will help you become healthily critical of your own thinking and belief structures too.

About Robbie Maltby

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