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John Adair's 100 Greatest Ideas for Smart Decision Making by John Adair

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Idea 68: Always test your assumptions

To assume something is to take it for granted, to accept it as true without proof or as a hypothesis. An assumption is any assertion about reality that is unproved or debatable.

Conscious Assumptions

Making an assumption –thinking or supposing as if something is the case – is a useful tool in argument or reasoning. It is the tentative adoption of an idea or interpretation, really for exploratory purposes. A hypothesis is a form of well-founded but tentative assumption. You are not committed to your hypothesis or assumption; you can jump off the bus any time you like.

Unconscious Assumptions

Much more dangerous both to clear thinking and creative thinking, or to generating new ideas, are the unconscious assumptions ...

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