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The surprising reason people change their minds

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https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20180622-the-surprising-reason-people-change-their-minds

bbc.com

The surprising reason people change their minds
We usually believe that our opinions are stubborn and fixed. But new research shows that our views, even on politics, are changing all the time – just not for the reasons you’d expect.

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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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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.

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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...

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Conspiracy Theories

Conspiracy Theories

In the earlier times, conspiracy theories were a convenient way to cover up the inadequacies of the government, and putting a set of helpless people as a scapegoat, cloaking the misdeeds or mismana...

We Love A Good Story

The organic and unpredictable nature of conspiracy theories had led many researchers to investigate the cause of the phenomenon.

  • Successful conspiracy theories always tend to invent a great villain, have a backdrop or a backstory, and a morality lesson that can be easily understood by most.
  • Great stories are by nature more magnetic and appealing than the truth.
  • Human beings think and understand in stories. For thousands of years, fairy tales, legends, anecdotes and mysteries have helped our brains make sense of the world.

Collective Hysteria

Every society has its own, unique anxieties and obsessions, and the conspiracy theories that gain good mileage are the ones that tap into these primal fears.

Example: Many people fear vaccination of the children due to fears that the mass drive to vaccinate such a large population has some ulterior motive, like a mass medical experiment. The dodgy past record of the health care system, and the fact that the vaccination is free of charge, of course, adds fuel to the fire.

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The Self-Perception of Experts

The Self-Perception of Experts

New research on the accuracy of future predictions by people has some interesting findings:

  • Experts, largely considered an authority, fared poorly than the novices, due to their over...

Facing Change: Millennials Vs Boomers

Past experience, which many experts think helps them to better understand the world, surprisingly does not improve the ability to predict the future. The research data showed accuracy levels of the younger generation (25 to 35 years of age) being the highest.

Old people are slower to comprehend change, faster to believe and share fake news and less likely to be objective.

Humility

Working with an open mind, ready to dive into unfamiliar territory and learning new things, makes the entire exercise stress-free and rewarding experience. This state of mind, along with basic humility makes for better performance. One’s arrogance, ego and past can negatively affect the prediction quality.

A humble attitude also makes people listen to others opinions and share their own unique insights, helping collaboration and constructive teamwork.

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Teenagers

Teenagers talk to parents about their problems and after being offered solutions and suggestions, dismiss the ideas provided as irritating, irrelevant or both.

Teens and adolescents may just...

Don't Instruct Adolescents

Solving any teenager problem is an exercise in futility, with broken hearts, social dramas and academic pressure making them split their heads every day.

Teens share their worries with us because they feel like sharing, and need empathy, not a solution. Reassuring and sincere words that make them feel better can be enough, and any solution offered will most probably backfire.

They may only need a vote of confidence and can easily turn well-intentioned guidance as criticism and lectures.

Moving Towards A Solution

  • Offering our kids an ear, empathy and encouragement helps them tremendously and moves the needle towards the best solution.
  • Asking teens if they need any help is the first step towards providing relevant advice.
  • Divide their problem into two categories: what can be changed, and what cannot.
  • For things that can be changed, focus on the needs identified by your kid, and brainstorm for possible solutions.
  • For things that cannot be changed, help them come in terms with the circumstances that are not in one's control.