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  • Do you ever get into an argument where you know you're right,

  • and yet even with your eloquent explanation and

  • all of the facts on your side, you just can't get through?

  • Is there a strategic way to successfully

  • convince somebody and change their opinion ?

  • The first and most disappointing thing that you have to come to terms with is this:

  • Facts don't convince people. Especially if they already have an opinion.

  • We all like to think that

  • information or indisputable studies would convince us in an argument,

  • but study after study shows that when certain facts don't conform to our beliefs,

  • our brains are happy to disregard or simply rationalize them away.

  • In one study, scientists asked people if they believed in man-made climate change,

  • and then categorized them as believers or deniers.

  • They then told some that scientists have reevaluated the data and concluded that

  • predictions for the future were much worse than before.

  • While some others were told the situation wasn't nearly as bad as once thought.

  • But these facts had an interesting result on their beliefs.

  • People who didn't believe in climate change and were told that things would be much worse

  • completely ignored this fact, and their opinions were unchanged.

  • But if they were told that things weren't nearly as bad,

  • their beliefs moved much farther in that direction.

  • And the same thing happened to those who believed strongly in climate change.

  • When told that things are now predicted to be worse,

  • they shifted their opinions more strongly in that direction,

  • whereas those told it wouldn't be so bad didn't change their opinions at all.

  • The facts only caused people to polarize.

  • It turns out that once formed, people's impressions and opinions are extremely perseverant.

  • And cognitive scientists say

  • much of this is actually linked to our ability as humans to cooperate.

  • A skill that no other animals have.

  • To the degree that humans do, from hunting and gathering to agriculture and modern computers,

  • our cooperation allows us to rely on one another's expertise instead of knowing everything.

  • As a result, we can hardly tell where our own understanding ends and another begins.

  • Ultimately, strong beliefs don't actually come from deep understanding.

  • This is known as the "Illusion of Explanatory Depth."

  • If I asked you to rate your understanding of something like a toilet, zippers, or computers,

  • chances are you believe you know way more than you actually do.

  • Go on and try to explain step by step how a toilet or a zipper functions in detail.

  • Sometimes this simple act can expose how baseless ours or others opinion is.

  • In one study, when participants were asked to rate their opinions of public policies

  • like healthcare, and then later asked to explain in as much detail as possible

  • the impact of implementing those policies.

  • They would quickly turn down the intensity of their beliefs

  • having been exposed to their own ignorance.

  • How else can we overcome these tendencies and convince people in an argument?

  • It turns out that we need to focus on the common motive

  • as per by Tali Sharot, a cognitive neural scientist,

  • that is, focus on the motives and things that you can agree on.

  • One study looking at parents afraid to vaccinate their children

  • because of the fear of autism

  • found that if they simply told them the facts,

  • that the science shows there is no link between the two, they wouldn't listen.

  • But when they focused on the common goal of protecting their children,

  • and explained what vaccines are meant to prevent,

  • things like measles, mumps, polio, tetanus, and

  • how those diseases impact children who get them without even mentioning autism,

  • they were more likely to have their kids vaccinated after.

  • Finally, humans are known to have something called an in-group and out-group bias.

  • We tend to be skeptical of outsiders or people who we see as different from us.

  • This can come in the form of race, religion, physical traits, gender,

  • but also in the form of ideas. So people who don't share your ideas

  • are part of your out-group. Studies have been done to show that

  • if you can find a way to relate to people and have them see you in a different light

  • to see you as a part of their in-group, they're much more likely to listen to you

  • than if they think you're nothing like them.

  • Find the group that you're both part of, and use that as a point of personal connection.

  • Now, if you ever wanna to challenge your own opinions, or become more aware of those opinions contrary to your own,

  • then you should definitely check out vubble.

  • A really awesome new company that I love which uses machine learning to

  • send you stuff you'll like, but with a twist of also sending stuff

  • that will nudge you outside of your filter bubble.

  • It's a cool tool that first analyzes you and your interests through questions, pictures, and videos,

  • and then helps you flex your mental muscles

  • with some stuff that wouldn't normally be in your feed.

  • It's a really nice way to expose yourself to a broader view of the world online

  • And it's completely free!

  • You can check out the chatbot on Facebook by clicking the link below,

  • and then click in the get started button to launch the chatbot.

  • Help mind your feed, and feed your mind.

  • And subscribe for more weekly science videos every Thursday.

Do you ever get into an argument where you know you're right,

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How Can You Change Somebody's Opinion?

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    kiki posted on 2017/12/14
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