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How to Convince Someone When Facts Fail

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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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

How to Convince Someone When Facts Fail

How to Convince Someone When Facts Fail

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

scientificamerican.com

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Key Ideas

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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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.

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Ray Dalio - Principles
"People who confuse what they wish were true with what is really true create distorted pictures of reality that make..."
Ray Dalio - Principles
To change reality, stop denying it
Solving problems has to start with getting an accurate picture of reality and then deciding what to do about it

Forming opinions before trying to get all of the facts straight leads to bad decisions, poor choices, and further frustration down the line. In many cases, it exacerbates the problem.

Dealing with the truth
  • When you have a choice between telling the truth or protecting someone’s feelings, it’s better to go with the truth, in a respectful way.
  • Default to blaming yourself and what you control rather than looking for outside excuses. 
  • Check the sources of your beliefs. Ask yourself how you know what you’re saying. Did you research it? Or are you repeating a belief of the box you’re in? 
  • Choose truth over comfort. If an idea or some research offends you, that doesn’t mean it’s wrong.