A2 Basic US 188 Folder Collection
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2020 is nearly here
and argument season has already arrived.
America has never been so connected
and divided.
People are losing friendships,
disowning family members, and it's only going to get worse.
I'm Peter Boghossian and I'm an expert
on having impossible conversations.
I'm going to share three simple techniques
you should incorporate to ensure your conversations
are productive.
Sometimes arguments are presented as black and white
and you get lost in a "Yes, it is. No, it isn't" spiral.
Here's something small you can do
to add perspective and have a productive conversation.
Introduce scales.
Simply ask, "On a scale from one to ten,
how confident are you that belief is true?"
This lets you know how entrenched someone is
in their position.
You can also ask for scales on an issue.
For example, you may have heard,
"America is a patriarchy."
and then found this statement bizarre.
That comment usually initiates a "No, it isn't.
Yes, it is." argument.
You can escape this
yes-no dead end by introducing a scale.
Suppose Saudi Arabia is nine out of 10 in patriarchy.
"Where is the U.S. on the same scale?"
Asking for a scale helps break away
from all-or-nothing thinking.
It also gives room for people to move along that scale
without giving up their position entirely.
And if either position moves toward the other,
you know your conversation wasn't meaningless.
When we argue we're asked often angrily or dismissively
for evidence of our claims.
But it's rare to ask,
"What evidence might actually change your mind?"
This question isn't a threat and you're not
telling anyone anything.
You're just inviting someone to question their own beliefs
in a non-threatening way.
Here's how you do it.
First, state their position in a way
they'd enthusiastically agree.
This will ensure you're on the same page.
Then, ask a disconfirmation question.
Ask, "How could that belief be wrong?
I'm not saying it is wrong,
but under what conditions would you change your mind?"
Now you're in a conversation.
Asking the disconfirmation question
is a good-faith way of giving people the space
to consider and self- critique their position.
Who knows? You both may find some common ground
or learn something.
People often confuse the ability
to know something with actually knowing something.
This phenomenon is known as the "unread library effect."
In 2001 researchers asked people to rate
their confidence about how toilets work.
Participants were then asked to explain verbally and give
as much detail as possible.
Then they rated their confidence again.
And you guessed it, this time subjects
admitted to being far less confident.
We can access the library,
but we don't know anything unless we borrow and read
the book.
It's O.K. to not know everything,
but our confidence should scale
with our actual knowledge.
Here's how you can use this in conversation.
Start by admitting you don't know enough
to hold a firm position and ask
for explanations in as much detail as possible.
You might ask, "What do you think?"
"How do you know that?"
If your partner is an expert,
you might both be rewarded with a good lesson.
Otherwise, you might both learn
that you need to learn more.
Improving our conversations is vital
because it enables us to solve shared problems.
We have some very serious problems
that we need to be talking about and generating
solutions to.
But unless we're having conversations,
that's impossible.
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How to Disagree Better | NYT Opinion

188 Folder Collection
Helena published on September 24, 2019    Karen translated    Evangeline reviewed
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