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How to Convince Someone When Facts Fail

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-to-convince-someone-when-facts-fail/

scientificamerican.com

How to Convince Someone When Facts Fail
Have you ever noticed that when you present people with facts that are contrary to their deepest held beliefs they always change their minds? Me neither. In fact, people seem to double down on their beliefs in the teeth of overwhelming evidence against them.

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Power of belief over evidence

Power of belief over evidence
It's the result of two factors: 
  • cognitive dissonance: the uncomfortable tension that comes from holding two conflicting thoughts simultaneously.
  •  the backfire effect: when corrections actually increase misperceptions among the group in question.

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How to convince someone when facts fail

How to convince someone when facts fail
  • keep emotions out of the exchange;
  • discuss, don't attack;
  • listen carefully and try to articulate the other position accurately;
  • show respect'
  • acknowledge that you understand why someone might hold that opinion;
  • try to show how changing facts does not necessarily mean changing worldviews. 

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

The backfire effect

Is a cognitive bias and it means that showing people evidence which proves that they are wrong is often ineffective, and can actually end up backfiring, by causing them to support their o...

Why the backfire effect appears

People experience  as a result of the process that they go through when they encounter information that contradicts their preexisting beliefs.

When people argue strongly enough against unwelcome information, they end up, in their mind, with more arguments that support their original stance.

Reducing other people’s backfire effect

If you’re trying to explain to someone the issues with their stance, you can mitigate the backfire effect by presenting new information in a way that encourages the other person to consider and internalize that information, instead of rejecting it outright.

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Difficult to convince

It can feel impossible to persuade someone with strong views. This is in part because we look for information to confirm what we already know and avoid or dismiss facts that are opposed to our core...

What resonates with your opponent

We all tend to overrate the power of arguments we find convincing, and wrongly think the other side will be converted. It is pointless to argue a point that your opponents have already dismissed.

The answer is not to simply expose people to another point of view. Find out what resonates with them. Frame your message with buzzwords that reflect their values.

Use moral framing

To try and sway the other side, use their morals against them. People have stable morals that influence their worldview. 

However, reframing in terms of values might not turn your opponent's view, but can soften his stance and get him to listen to counterarguments.

The Fallacy Of Arguments

The Fallacy Of Arguments

The fallacy of our seemingly perfect argument lies in the fact that we assume that the other person is reasonable and logical, just as we are. That is not true in both cases.

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How Confirmation Bias Influences Our Communication

  • When we confront new information, we interpret it to support our existing beliefs. Any thought or discussion that confirms our prejudice and thought patterns seems appealing to us and is known as confirmation bias.
  • When we try to argue our case (because of course, we are right!) it strengthens the defence of the opposition.
  • However wrong it seems to us, their arguments are correct too according to the confirmation bias they have experienced, which has solidified their point of view.

Figuring Out Your Opponent's Point Of View

Get into the other person’s shoes and figure out why their point of view is so important for them.

Conflict is almost inevitable in an argument due to both the parties ‘doubling down’ on their confirmation bias. Instead of going the way of souring your relations, a better approach is to have an open mind and simply understand the other person’s point of view.