The Illusion of Explanatory Depth - Deepstash
The Illusion of Explanatory Depth

The Illusion of Explanatory Depth

We are overconfident about what we think because we're familiar with the material. 

We think we know more than we actually do because it's available to us. And when knowledge is put to the test, our familiarity with things leads to an (unwarranted) overconfidence about how they work.

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MORE IDEAS FROM The Art of Winning An Argument

How to Win an Argument

If you want to win an argument, simply ask the person trying to convince you of something to explain how it would work.

Chances are they have not done the work required to hold an opinion. If they can explain why they are correct and how things would work, you'll learn something. If they can't you'll soften their views, perhaps nudging them ever so softly toward your views.

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When people disagree with us we assume they are ignorant … that they lack information. So we try to convince them with information. It seldom works.

  • Persuasion appeals to the emotions and to fear and to the imagination. Convincing requires a spreadsheet or some other rational device.
  • It’s much easier to persuade someone if they’re already convinced, but it’s impossible to change someone’s mind merely by convincing them of your point.

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When knowledge is put to the test, our familiarity with things leads to an (unwarranted) overconfidence about how they work.

Most of the time others won’t test their knowledge either. This is the beginning of how we start to show others or even ourselves that our view of the world might need updating.

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Richard Feynman

“The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool.”

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If you want to win an argument, simply ask the person trying to convince you of something to explain how it would work.

Odds are they have not done the work required to hold an opinion. If they can explain why they are correct and how things would work, you’ll learn something. If they can’t you’ll soften their views, perhaps nudging them ever so softly toward your views.

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RELATED IDEA

Convince Them With Confidence
  • Speak confidently, be concise, and try not to repeat yourself. 
  • Give the appearance that you truly know what’s right from the beginning, even if you don’t have all of the facts. 
  • Facts that can support your stance is helpful, but being convincing matters more.

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Constructing a good argument

At its core, an argument consists of a conclusion and one or more premises, or claims.

  • The conclusion is what the communicator wants his or her audience to accept.
  • The premises are the reasons for believing the conclusion to be true.

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Winning an Argument

The odds of winning an argument require more than just logic and rationality, as there are a lot of other factors involved.

By understanding and changing the 'frames' a person uses and center them around a shared belief, we can help our cause.

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