This is the best thing I have ever heard on how we change our minds. Spoiler alert: it’s not by producing facts that support the opposing position. Studies show that actually triggers a backfire effect that makes the person cling tighter to their belief. This is one of the main reasons I have mostly stopped arguing with people. Occasionally, I will argue not for the benefit of the person I am directly interacting with, but the people who are reading or watching.
Link to How to Change Your Mind Episode of the Freakonomics podcast.
There are two things in there that fascinate me. First, that we have a weakness that we adopt other’s knowledge as our own. This leads us to overestimate how much we know. This weakness can be rooted out if we force ourselves to think step by step how a thing works. Once we confront that we cannot do this task we update our mental model and mark down how well we understand a thing.
The other thing that interested me was that the most effective way to open someone to changing their mind is to ask them to take the opposing view from their own. I just wonder if getting in this head space just breaks down some barriers in our heads to stop thinking of those opposed to us as others, but forces us to think of them as us. I’m just wondering does this work because it pries us out of our tribes?
December 6, 2019 at 12:14 am
So glad you are writing again, Kate. You always make me think.