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(Salon)   Can you really change someone's mind? Here comes the science   (salon.com) divider line
    More: PSA, Emotion, Brain, Human brain, Mind, Psychology, Want, social media, Jill Bolte Taylor  
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531 clicks; posted to STEM » on 22 Jun 2021 at 6:03 AM (5 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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2021-06-22 12:55:12 AM  
Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2021-06-22 4:33:19 AM  
Counterpoint: My eldest sister is an anti-vaxer and an asshole.
 
2021-06-22 5:11:20 AM  
Sure you can. That's why millions of people currently believe in a batshiat insane conspiracy theory.  That's why cults exist; that's why Fox News exists.  Perhaps we should be examining how people change the minds of others rather than asking a stupid question like "can you change someone's mind;" maybe even instead ask, "can you change someone's mind with only a few hours of effort against a steady countercurrent of hours a day?"

Maybe then will we see how to actually start curing some of the cancer playing (autocorrected from plaguing; leaving as-is) us all.

/Dnrtfa
 
2021-06-22 5:20:56 AM  

koder: Sure you can. That's why millions of people currently believe in a batshiat insane conspiracy theory.  That's why cults exist; that's why Fox News exists.  Perhaps we should be examining how people change the minds of others rather than asking a stupid question like "can you change someone's mind;" maybe even instead ask, "can you change someone's mind with only a few hours of effort against a steady countercurrent of hours a day?"

Maybe then will we see how to actually start curing some of the cancer playing (autocorrected from plaguing; leaving as-is) us all.

/Dnrtfa


You can't change the mind of people in a full Gish-gallop.
 
2021-06-22 6:44:29 AM  
Yes. By laughing at them.
 
2021-06-22 6:46:05 AM  
Mrs is stubborn as can be, i don't even try. she'll F with you just for the sake of it.
 
2021-06-22 6:50:10 AM  
Can you really change someone's mind? Here comes the science Fark.
 
2021-06-22 6:51:11 AM  
Yes, but lobotomies are no longer used.
 
2021-06-22 7:10:01 AM  
images.static-bluray.comView Full Size
 
2021-06-22 7:21:26 AM  
A man came up to me and said
"I'd like to change your mind
By hitting it with a rock, " he said,
"Though I am not unkind."

We laughed at his little joke
And then I happily walked away
And hit my head on the wall of the jail
Where the two of us live today.
 
2021-06-22 7:21:41 AM  
I've tried all sorts of techniques and argumentation strategies, and if you can believe it the best approach is.... Columbo.

Be like Colombo. Pretend you don't know what's going on, and ask pointed questions that gently and subtly exposes their logic. By humbling yourself to their ego they don't feel threatened. By asking questions that puts them on the offensive, as an invitation into their world. And through the use of interrogative dialogue (if you're good enough at it), you can inadvertently compel them into doing an internal critique of their own worldview, which naturally devolves into absurdity.

I did this with a flat Earther once. Instead of presenting evidence for a round Earth model (the mistake most people made), I simply asked about his flat Earth model. I asked how if it could explain all the things we readily observe and have observed for thousands of years, like planets sometimes going backwards at certain points in the year. When he admitted he didn't have an answer for such phenomena, I told him I couldn't accept his model then and left it at that. It's not a very useful model if it has no explanatory power or can't make any useful predictions about the future.

I wouldn't say I converted him, but it did bring the argument to a dead stop when I made him realize that scientific theories are only useful when they explain things and make predictions. If the flat Earth model can tell me where the next eclipse is going to be, I'm all for that. But he couldn't even tell me the exact shape of the Earth, let alone the position of the sun and moon in the sky.
 
2021-06-22 7:24:57 AM  
You can't reason someone out of a position they didn't reason themselves into in the first place.
 
2021-06-22 7:30:43 AM  
Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2021-06-22 7:31:46 AM  
Ishkar is close.
It's well established that the best way to convince a boss about something is to trick them into believing it was their idea.

Apply generically. Don't try to force feed truth. It doesn't work. Rather, bring someone to a point where they connect the dots. But you have to be somewhat subtle. It's best if you get them to find some of the dots that need connecting. And you can't hover over with an obvious desire for them to finally see things your way.

You have to avoid any sense of it involving you "winning" a debate. Otherwise it's all about them preserving their self.
 
2021-06-22 7:36:17 AM  
Can you?  Yes, I think so.  I think we often run out of patience before doing so though, and I'll include myself in doing that.  For example, if you're an atheist trying to explain to someone who has been brainwashed since birth that the magical sky wizard does not exist, and that person has grown up in a heavily religious household without a focus on education and critical thinking, you aren't going to convince them in a single (or even a few) conversation, no matter what your approach is.  If someone has a deeply ingrained position on something, especially if it started very young, or is rooted in trauma, they may end up changing their mind, but it could take years.  If their position is deeply stupid, we often lose patience before they have a chance to change their mind.
 
2021-06-22 7:41:05 AM  

wademh: Ishkar is close.
It's well established that the best way to convince a boss about something is to trick them into believing it was their idea.

Apply generically. Don't try to force feed truth. It doesn't work. Rather, bring someone to a point where they connect the dots. But you have to be somewhat subtle. It's best if you get them to find some of the dots that need connecting. And you can't hover over with an obvious desire for them to finally see things your way.

You have to avoid any sense of it involving you "winning" a debate. Otherwise it's all about them preserving their self.


Yeah, you have to find a way to let them convince themselves. A major crack for my grandfather was when the Rs defunded military bases in favor of the border wall. "Don't they care about soldiers?" I remember asking (he's a vet). He went from being a Trump supporter to watching Rachel Maddow.

But you can't come at them directly. The minute you trigger their defensiveness you've lost it and need to back off. It's like dealing with negative responders: tell them they can't do something, and they will. Insist over and over that they have to do something, and it'll never happen.
 
2021-06-22 7:46:50 AM  

wademh: It's well established that the best way to convince a boss about something is to trick them into believing it was their idea.


This too.

It was one of the best ways of dealing with Trump. If you wanted him to do something, you had to convince him that he thought of it first. Usually just a simple throwaway line like "Mr. President, do you remember last week when you said--" would be enough. Trump's memory is shot and his ego won't let him admit he doesn't remember something, so he always goes along with the lie, especially if the idea is good.
 
2021-06-22 7:51:30 AM  

Ishkur: I've tried all sorts of techniques and argumentation strategies, and if you can believe it the best approach is.... Columbo.

Be like Colombo. Pretend you don't know what's going on, and ask pointed questions that gently and subtly exposes their logic. By humbling yourself to their ego they don't feel threatened. By asking questions that puts them on the offensive, as an invitation into their world. And through the use of interrogative dialogue (if you're good enough at it), you can inadvertently compel them into doing an internal critique of their own worldview, which naturally devolves into absurdity.

I did this with a flat Earther once. Instead of presenting evidence for a round Earth model (the mistake most people made), I simply asked about his flat Earth model. I asked how if it could explain all the things we readily observe and have observed for thousands of years, like planets sometimes going backwards at certain points in the year. When he admitted he didn't have an answer for such phenomena, I told him I couldn't accept his model then and left it at that. It's not a very useful model if it has no explanatory power or can't make any useful predictions about the future.

I wouldn't say I converted him, but it did bring the argument to a dead stop when I made him realize that scientific theories are only useful when they explain things and make predictions. If the flat Earth model can tell me where the next eclipse is going to be, I'm all for that. But he couldn't even tell me the exact shape of the Earth, let alone the position of the sun and moon in the sky.


Sea Lions are our heroes
 
2021-06-22 8:12:08 AM  

Fano: Sea Lions are our heroes


No, sealioning is wasting the other person's time by insisting they meet your standards of evidence which are deliberately unreachable (and you're not interested in their answer anyway) through inane and pointless JAQing off.

That's not what this is. You're never asking deliberately unanswerable questions, loaded questions, or constant requests for more evidence. You're asking targeted, deliberate questions that stress test their argument, giving it a formal internal critique. And it's meant to be a two-way dialogue, where the questions unpack and break down the argument's logic until it can no longer support itself.

I admit it's not something anyone can do right off the bat. It takes a bit of skill to do well. But if you keep in mind to Stay Columbo, you'd be surprised how easily they open up so much that they trip over their own stupid logic.
 
2021-06-22 9:04:36 AM  
A 9mm will change it significantly.
 
2021-06-22 9:10:39 AM  

ecmoRandomNumbers: Counterpoint: My eldest sister is an anti-vaxer and an asshole.


Supporting the people I agree with has been a lot more rewarding than trying to change assholes' minds.
 
2021-06-22 9:30:58 AM  
It is surprisingly difficult to change your mind. Recall the last time you did it.
 
2021-06-22 10:03:02 AM  
thoughtcatalog.comView Full Size
 
2021-06-22 10:13:15 AM  

TTFK: [thoughtcatalog.com image 622x866]


There is a companion to Godwin's Law that I coined awhile ago that states: As a discussion grows longer, the probability of it devolving into an argument over the precise definition of words approaches 1.

I call it Wittgenstein's Law.
 
2021-06-22 10:40:23 AM  
Don't you ever wonder why
Nothing ever seems to change?
If it does it's for the worse.
Seems it's just a modern curse.
 
2021-06-22 10:52:59 AM  
I've changed my mind about plenty of people who go off the right wing cliff.
 
2021-06-22 11:02:16 AM  

12349876: I've changed my mind about plenty of people who go off the right wing cliff.


That's just judging.

Changing your mind means a fundamental re-alignment. Like, you used to believe in God, but then one day you realize the whole thing is an enormous hoax, so now you don't. It's an Earth-shattering change of who you are and what you believe in.
 
2021-06-22 11:12:38 AM  
A list of logical fallacies exist not win arguments by citing them, that's actually the fallacy fallacy, they exist because they work.  If you want to persuade someone, just manipulate their biases, and unfortunately, human biases rarely align with objective truth.

liars, frauds, and manipulators always have a systemic advantage when it comes to popular opinion.
 
2021-06-22 11:13:36 AM  

Ishkur: TTFK: [thoughtcatalog.com image 622x866]

There is a companion to Godwin's Law that I coined awhile ago that states: As a discussion grows longer, the probability of it devolving into an argument over the precise definition of words approaches 1.

I call it Wittgenstein's Law.


That's only true if you have a broad interpretation of what an argument is, though.  Some arguments really are just discussions with open ended questions, and shouldn't be included as part of Wittgenstein's Law.
 
2021-06-22 11:59:43 AM  
I mean, you can change a lot of things with enough amperage.. Read something about this a while back that contended that people had too many of their beliefs attached to their identity. So to admit that they were wrong on one topic, made them potentially wrong on many a topic. So the hypothesis was that in order to change one's mind, the belief had to be separated from their identity, or change their identity all together.
 
2021-06-22 12:13:57 PM  
I've had my mind changed in the past. Used to think electric cars wouldn't be good enough anytime soon, and here I am, on a wait list. Gonna be fun drag racing.
 
2021-06-22 12:14:43 PM  
Destructor:

So, kinda like throwing your vote away on Gary Johnson when you realize the party you've supported for years wants the lunatic to run things. That kind of giant fundamental change?
 
2021-06-22 12:26:45 PM  

Ishkur: I've tried all sorts of techniques and argumentation strategies, and if you can believe it the best approach is.... Columbo.

Be like Colombo. Pretend you don't know what's going on, and ask pointed questions that gently and subtly exposes their logic. By humbling yourself to their ego they don't feel threatened. By asking questions that puts them on the offensive, as an invitation into their world. And through the use of interrogative dialogue (if you're good enough at it), you can inadvertently compel them into doing an internal critique of their own worldview, which naturally devolves into absurdity.

I did this with a flat Earther once. Instead of presenting evidence for a round Earth model (the mistake most people made), I simply asked about his flat Earth model. I asked how if it could explain all the things we readily observe and have observed for thousands of years, like planets sometimes going backwards at certain points in the year. When he admitted he didn't have an answer for such phenomena, I told him I couldn't accept his model then and left it at that. It's not a very useful model if it has no explanatory power or can't make any useful predictions about the future.

I wouldn't say I converted him, but it did bring the argument to a dead stop when I made him realize that scientific theories are only useful when they explain things and make predictions. If the flat Earth model can tell me where the next eclipse is going to be, I'm all for that. But he couldn't even tell me the exact shape of the Earth, let alone the position of the sun and moon in the sky.


Can you explain every aspect of modern physics, from quarks to black holes? Can you explain some of the larger dilemmas facing science, like dark energy or dark matter? No? Are you going to abandon your thinking of modern science? Of course not. Science isn't like that. But you understand enough of modern science and have seen it explain enough and predict enough that you don't doubt for a second it could and would explain all these other things. Or that others, given enough time, might eventually be able to use it to explain those things.

I know, I know.. it is different when YOUR science can't fully explain everything. HIS science can and does make predictions and explains things. It doesn't explain EVERYTHING, but neither does yours. And, like you, he doesn't feel the need to understand every little thing in his science, but understands enough of it to TRUST that his science COULD explain those things if he wanted to look deeper into it.

You didn't get him rethinking his position any more than dark matter makes you rethink your position on the big bang, evolution or a round earth.
 
2021-06-22 1:00:06 PM  
I find I have the best results in changing someone's mind when I'm practically doing verbal gymnastics trying to avoid the pronoun "you" when talking to them.

I noticed a long time ago that people hate it when someone who is talking to them used phrases like "you said..." and "you feel..." since that inevitably leads to "you shouldn't..." and "you're wrong..."

I try to never tell a person that they shouldn't feel the way they feel. I always accept that they really are upset, this is because emotions do notfollow any sort of logic. When someone lets me know that they feel very strongly about something, the absolute worst thing that I can say to them is "you shouldn't feel that way". It invalidates their emotions, which to them feel very legitimate and immediately puts me into an antagonistic position in their mind, which means I've already lost any chance I had at changing their mind.

It is seriously draining to try to talk to someone without using the second person way of speaking and forces me to resort to using phrases like "I can't say that's happened to me" and "I've always thought..." followed by an example that is a counterpoint to their argument. It is hard to argue in this way, but it really does help prevent them from labeling me as "the other" or "the enemy" in their mind and therefore prevents them from digging their heels in and keeps open the possibility of me changing their mind.
 
2021-06-22 1:02:18 PM  

Destructor: It is surprisingly difficult to change your mind. Recall the last time you did it.


I would tell you, but you wouldn't believe me anyway.
 
2021-06-22 1:09:57 PM  
Maybe not, but with the right combination of eloquent speaking and good choice of words, you can make them cry.
 
2021-06-22 1:11:50 PM  

kozlo: Destructor:

So, kinda like throwing your vote away on Gary Johnson when you realize the party you've supported for years wants the lunatic to run things. That kind of giant fundamental change?


That's it exactly.
 
2021-06-22 3:42:40 PM  

kozlo: Destructor:

So, kinda like throwing your vote away


If you vote, you're not throwing it away.
 
2021-06-22 3:46:27 PM  

ArcadianRefugee: kozlo: Destructor:

So, kinda like throwing your vote away

If you vote, you're not throwing it away.


After the fact... It felt like it.
 
2021-06-22 6:43:02 PM  

Tomfoolery Rules Over Logical Living: Ishkur: TTFK: [thoughtcatalog.com image 622x866]

There is a companion to Godwin's Law that I coined awhile ago that states: As a discussion grows longer, the probability of it devolving into an argument over the precise definition of words approaches 1.

I call it Wittgenstein's Law.

That's only true if you have a broad interpretation of what an argument is, though.  Some arguments really are just discussions with open ended questions, and shouldn't be included as part of Wittgenstein's Law.


Iseewhatyoudidthere.jpg
 
2021-06-22 6:56:38 PM  

tedduque: Can you explain every aspect of modern physics, from quarks to black holes? Can you explain some of the larger dilemmas facing science, like dark energy or dark matter? No? Are you going to abandon your thinking of modern science?


None of these things have anything to do with the shape of the Earth.

You've missed the point completely.

The goal isn't to come up with a model that explains EVERYTHING. That will never happen. All science is provisional. We come up with models that explain our observations, but we must be ready to toss out, reform, or change those models upon discovery of new observations.

The "Globe Earth" doesn't have to explain all observations. It just has to have more explanatory and predictive power than all alternative theories on the shape of the Earth. And it does. Until someone comes up with a better theory that explains more, it's the one we use.
 
2021-06-22 8:01:17 PM  

Ishkur: tedduque: Can you explain every aspect of modern physics, from quarks to black holes? Can you explain some of the larger dilemmas facing science, like dark energy or dark matter? No? Are you going to abandon your thinking of modern science?

None of these things have anything to do with the shape of the Earth.

You've missed the point completely.

The goal isn't to come up with a model that explains EVERYTHING. That will never happen. All science is provisional. We come up with models that explain our observations, but we must be ready to toss out, reform, or change those models upon discovery of new observations.

The "Globe Earth" doesn't have to explain all observations. It just has to have more explanatory and predictive power than all alternative theories on the shape of the Earth. And it does. Until someone comes up with a better theory that explains more, it's the one we use.


This isn't a discussion on what science is about. This is a discussion about people's beliefs and how to get them to see other views. Which, quite frankly, is not going to happen unless they immerse themselves in a different world.

Don't get wrapped up in how things *SHOULD* work, and get to a point where you understand how people really work. You are correct that if someone is presented with two models, one which better explains the world we see but seems counter intuitive and one which matches intuition but only partially matches the observations, people should move to the former. But that isn't how people work. You don't work that way. None of us do. We like to think we do, but we don't.

Contradictions don't make people abandon their models. Those contradictions aren't important to them in the sense the model they subscribe to explains enough other things they trust it and trust the apparent contradictions are explainable with enough research or further understanding. Their model just needs refinement. Like yours.

There is also the appeal to authority. You trust your sources. They trust theirs. It isn't about a rational assessment of all the facts to reach a conclusion. No one has time to get a PhD in cosmology, chemistry, physics, zoology, etc. to understand all the data and make their own conclusions. People form conclusions, then seek the facts to support those conclusions. If a contradiction comes up, they either dismiss it and assume it is explainable or suffer cognitive dissonance.If people operated the way you claim, religion would not exist.
 
2021-06-22 8:10:10 PM  

tedduque: This isn't a discussion on what science is about


Then why did you steer it in that direction? Stop talking about it if it's off topic.

tedduque: This is a discussion about people's beliefs and how to get them to see other views


I already explained how.
 
2021-06-22 8:17:33 PM  

Ishkur: tedduque: This isn't a discussion on what science is about

Then why did you steer it in that direction? Stop talking about it if it's off topic.

tedduque: This is a discussion about people's beliefs and how to get them to see other views

I already explained how.


The topic is changing minds. You used the example of planet orbits and science to try to explain something on the topic of changing minds. I didn't steer it in that direction, you did.

Your technique will fail just as assuredly as someone telling you dark matter exists won't get you to abandon your present thoughts on physics and cosmology.

Just as I'm failing now to get you to see the failings in your own thoughts, so too you failed to get the flat earther to see the error in their thoughts. People cling to their beliefs rather strongly, even when faced with evidence to the contrary.
 
2021-06-22 8:34:33 PM  

Ishkur: Fano: Sea Lions are our heroes

No, sealioning is wasting the other person's time by insisting they meet your standards of evidence which are deliberately unreachable (and you're not interested in their answer anyway) through inane and pointless JAQing off.

That's not what this is. You're never asking deliberately unanswerable questions, loaded questions, or constant requests for more evidence. You're asking targeted, deliberate questions that stress test their argument, giving it a formal internal critique. And it's meant to be a two-way dialogue, where the questions unpack and break down the argument's logic until it can no longer support itself.

I admit it's not something anyone can do right off the bat. It takes a bit of skill to do well. But if you keep in mind to Stay Columbo, you'd be surprised how easily they open up so much that they trip over their own stupid logic.


You know, you're right.
 
2021-06-22 9:14:02 PM  

tedduque: The topic is changing minds. You used the example of planet orbits and science to try to explain something on the topic of changing minds. I didn't steer it in that direction,


You attacked the analogy, not the argument.

Protip: Don't do that.
 
2021-06-22 9:44:03 PM  

Ishkur: tedduque: The topic is changing minds. You used the example of planet orbits and science to try to explain something on the topic of changing minds. I didn't steer it in that direction,

You attacked the analogy, not the argument.

Protip: Don't do that.


Protip: I used your analogy to explain why your thinking is wrong. If you don't want people using your analogy, don't use your analogy.

When I told you it wasn't about science, you accused me of steering it that way. When I pointed out it was you that did that, you then tell me I shouldn't use your own analogy to explain why you are wrong.
 
2021-06-22 10:54:09 PM  

tedduque: Protip: I used your analogy to explain why your thinking is wrong.


That's called attacking the analogy. The analogy is not the argument.

Protip: Stop doing that that.
 
2021-06-22 11:41:06 PM  

Ishkur: tedduque: Protip: I used your analogy to explain why your thinking is wrong.

That's called attacking the analogy. The analogy is not the argument.

Protip: Stop doing that that.


I didn't say your analogy is wrong. I demonstrated why your thinking is wrong using the terms of your own analogy, thinking you understood your analogy enough to be able to comprehend how it applies. My bad.
 
2021-06-23 2:35:52 AM  

tedduque: I didn't say your analogy is wrong. I demonstrated why your thinking is wrong using the terms of your own analogy, thinking you understood your analogy enough to be able to comprehend how it applies. My bad.


That's still attacking the analogy. You're setting up a strawman and ignoring the thrust of the argument.

Why don't you understand this?
 
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