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I'm about to tell you how to win an argument, but before I break into psychology and debate tactics,
why not try my personal winning strategy that actually got me this job?
Hey master debaters, I'm Jules for Dnews, and… you're wrong.
I'm sorry about that, but you're simply incorrect.
I challenge you to prove me otherwise.
Argue your point, change my opinion.
Chances are, you can't.
Not because I'm alone in a studio and screen all my phone calls,
but because, according to neuroscience, it's really difficult to win an argument.
That is, if you define winning an argument as “effective persuasion”.
It turns out arguing and persuading are incompatible goals for most people.
Psychology professor Drew Weston headed up a study in 2004,
where researchers took supporters of George W. Bush and John Kerry
and showed them videos of their preferred candidate contradicting himself
Simultaneously, the participant's brains were scanned in an MRI machine.
When the subjects were shown videos challenging their beliefs,
the part of the brain associated with logic and reason, the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, didn't light up very much.
However, the orbital frontal cortex, the anterior cingulate and the posterior cingulate all lit up,
and those areas are mainly associated with emotion, conflict resolution, and moral judgment
Instead of processing whether or not their beliefs were right,
the subjects, instead, processed how the information made them feel,
and how to resolve that incongruence.
As soon as they figured out how to justify the incorrect information without challenging their own beliefs,
so maybe something like saying that the candidate accidentally misspoke,
their brains released a ton of dopamine as a reward and made them feel great!
Even when presented with evidence challenging their beliefs,
the subjects resolved their internal confusion without being persuaded to change their minds.
And we know this rings true even outside of the laboratory.
According to research by another psychology professor, John Gottman,
roughly 69% of the things married couples argue about are never resolved and are perpetual.
Most of the time, arguing doesn’t solve anything.
But hey, you came here to learn how to kick ass the next time you argue,
and not learn about why arguing is messy and stupid.
So how do you actually win an argument?
Well, by not arguing.
Yeah, I know, it sounds like I’m promoting the abstinence theory of debate, but hear me out.
Arguing is a war; it has a winner and a loser, and nobody wants to be a loser.
Being wrong is okay as long as nobody knows it.
But if you have to admit that you’re wrong, AND change your behavior,
you’re probably going to look for any possible reason not to
The real trick is to make an argument look as little like a war as possible.
And you know who’s really good at that?
FBI hostage negotiators.
The FBI uses a method of persuasion known as the Behavioral Change Stairway Model,
and it actually only consists of five steps.
Step One: Actively listen.
Show your opponent that you are taking in what they’re putting out.
Step Two: Empathize.
Let them know that not only do you understand where they’re coming from,
but you understand how they feel about their position.
Don’t dismiss their feelings or negate their experiences, even if you disagree,
which you probably do.
For now, keep all those adversarial feelings bottled up.
Step Three: Build a rapport.
Once you’ve shown them that you understand how they feel,
now you want them to understand how you feel,
because if you both lay all your cards on the table, then you can trust each other,
or at the very least, they’ll trust you.
Step Four: Influence.
This is the first place where you’re going to actually make your point after building a strong foundation of empathy and trust.
If you’re both listening, then you can start problem solving with them, not against them.
And finally, Step Five, which is less of a step and more of a conclusion: they change.
For the FBI this means they surrender, but for you,
it might mean you get to stay out past curfew,
or get the wallpaper you like, or eat 200 hot dogs in an hour,
whatever floats your boat.
Pretty much all of those self-help books about arguing follow these same basic steps,
because in the end, the thing we most want to do when someone tells us we’re wrong,
is almost always the exactly wrong thing to do.
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So now you know how to win an argument, congratulations!
Too bad Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump didn’t watch this video before their debate,
but do debates even matter in the first place?
Watch me talk about whether or not they can actually affect the election in this video.
But is it impossible for some people to see eye to eye?
Are conservative and liberal brains actually different?
Find out in this video by Tara.
So what are some other tips and tricks you can use to win an argument?
Let us know down below in the comments,
and don't forget to keep liking and subscribing for more DNews every day.
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How To Win An Argument

15061 Folder Collection
韓澐 published on May 5, 2017    Woody Lai translated    missnerdypants reviewed
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