mardi 30 mai 2017

How to change someone's mind honestly?

Thoughout my life as a skeptic, and well, as a human really, I have tried to change someone's mind. For a lot of things, this is actually not too hard as people can be corrected about simple stuff.

For some things though, it seems virtually impossible as an idea can be wrapped in an ideology, or with their identity. It is these beliefs I have had huge trouble with as i'm not just trying to convince someone of one idea, but many intersecting ideas that they are trying to protect.

Often in these discussions I also end up realising that the other person has very little understanding of science, reason or even basic logic. Sometimes the person will admit they believe on faith or their emotions or that they would never change their mind.

So the question is, what are the best methods for changing someone's mind? At the same time I want to be honest with an open mind which has left me a little bit troubled. Listening to some podcasts like "You are not so smart", they seem to say is that you need to lower their defense, be a friend and appear to be someone who is just trying to grapple with some inconsistencies, while you slowly bring them around. This seems somewhat dishonest as I don't want to mislead anyone.

At the same time, there are other strategies, like not reinforcing incorrect beliefs as that leads to the backfire effect, replacing ideas with a true narrative, not just knocking ones down.

So what seems to work best?

via International Skeptics Forum

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