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The so-called 'polarized mind' is defined as a fixation on a single point of view while excluding all contrary opinions.
This fixation will often result in mindlessness, which makes individuals feel satisfied with their own beliefs, without feeling the need to search for more information.
Fear and anxiety are two main factors that can lead to having a polarized mind. This is to say, whenever people feel extreme fear, they tend to be defensive towards others.
Moreover, this kind of behavior can be recognized in extremists who, as a result of their own trauma, end up wanting the total control.
Nowadays, polarization has enabled the revival of authoritarianism, a real threat to our society.
In front of such danger, the dialogue between people sharing contrary points of view can prove extremely useful, as it allows individuals to become more open-minded and, therefore, to find solutions in order to fight the danger of the polarized mind.
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Constructive engagement involves cultivating goodwill between the parties involved.
This exercise involves members of one party sitting in a circle with the other group sitting around them. The outside group listens quietly while the inside group answers a set of questions.
After each side answered and listened, the moderator brings them together for conversations about what everyone learned. Data suggests that despite strong views, participants change their attitude toward one another for the better.
We regularly find ourselves engaging with people whose core beliefs and values differ from our own. We might want to convince them to adopt our point of view, but this can lead to unproductive conflict.
However, people who disagree passionately can be easily trained to have productive interactions.
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