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People are stubborn — but one method may be effective in changing minds

https://www.inverse.com/mind-body/one-strategy-may-be-more-effective-in-changing-minds

inverse.com

People are stubborn — but one method may be effective in changing minds
How do the opinions of others affect us? Two studies illuminate our inherent stubbornness while also showing feedback’s power in reinforcing beliefs.

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Beliefs Are Tattooed In The Mind

Beliefs Are Tattooed In The Mind

A University Of Iowa research states that once people form their beliefs, they are not likely to change their minds on the face of new information that clearly proves that their long-held beliefs are completely wrong. They are far more likely to go on protecting and fighting for their beliefs.

Even if the new information is extremely compelling and the person has no choice but to change their opinion, it is a temporary change that reverts back fast.

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Feedback And Other's People's Opinions

  • Other people's opinions and feedback play a larger role than factual proof in debunking the existing thought patterns, beliefs and opinions of an individual.
  • While trying to tell right from wrong, like a multiple choice question, what other people are choosing plays an important role in the final choice.
  • Being an expert in a particular field also has the reverse effect, as one is less inclined to learn anything new, preferring the safety and comfort of the existing set of knowledge.

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Changing People's Minds: Building A Bridge

A direct, upfront message aimed at debunking an existing belief has little effect on swaying an opinion, but if the message first presents the old belief and the justifications behind it, followed by the facts that try to refute the same, a bridge is created, and the impact is greater.

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Changing our minds

Changing our minds

While most of us generally agree on the fact that individuals do not really change their mind, or at least not that easily, recent research has shown that this is quite inaccurate.

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Coping with changes

Facing and eventually coping successfully with changes can make people go through all kind of emotions that finally lead to them changing their mind, in order to better adjust to the new situations.

Thing that is perfectly normal, as it is easier to live at peace with your current life than oppose it endlessly and know only frustration.

The "psychological immune system"

We rationalize the things we feel stuck with.

It seems like we free up mental space to get on with our lives by deciding things are not so bad, after all.

We’re swayed by anecdotes

We’re swayed by anecdotes
Most of us are influenced more powerfully by personal testimony from a single person than by impersonal ratings or outcomes averaged across many people. This is the power of anecdote to dull our criti...

We’re overconfident

We overestimate our comprehension of the science. 

Part of the problem seems to be that we infer our understanding of scientific text based on how well we have comprehended the language used. This “fluency bias” can also apply to science lectures when it is delivered by an engaging speaker.

We’re seduced by graphs

It doesn’t take a lot to dazzle the average newspaper or magazine reader using the superficial props of science, be that formulas, graphics or jargon. 

One study found that participants were far more likely to support new evidence when it had a graphic visualisation of the correlational evidence than if they had read the same evidence without a graphic.

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Defining difficult people

Defining difficult people

We are social creatures who desire validation. We feel good when others share our belief system. But we feel dejected when others do not value our inputs, crush our ideas, or ignore what we have to...

Influences that define difficult people

We view the world and the people in it from a specific paradigm.

How we relate to someone is driven by our personality, expectations, background, and experience. Why we find someone difficult is then a very personal affair.

The TRICK framework that drives us

  • T - Tagging. We are quick to label others as needy, manipulative, fake, arrogant, but explain away our own selfish acts and believe we are better than others.
  • R - Righteous. When we find someone difficult, we start believing in the righteousness of how we feel, what we want, and why the other person deserves to be treated in a certain way. We reject them as a person, as well as their ideas.
  • I - Intention. Once we know we are right, it's easy to assume they act out of bad intent.
  • C - Confirmation. Once we think someone is difficult, every interaction serves as a validation of our beliefs. We will reject the evidence that contradicts our beliefs and seek information that strengthens our views.
  • K - Keenness to fix others. Without changing our own behavior, we assume the other person is at fault and then desire to fix them.