So, yes it is possible to change people’s mindset. Here is a list of dozens of cognitive biases, just a sample of the ways your brain protects itself from specific threats to the status quo. February 10, 2020. Self-affirmation conditioning studies find that if, before you start to try to change somebody's mind, you … Tumblr. (part 3 of 3) Posted by timothygoodwin May 17, 2020 Posted in Edumusings Tags: brain research, Constructivism, elephant and rider, empathy, haidt, Learning, teaching. It can be done, and we’ll cover that in a future blog. Ask them to tell you about some wonderful thing they did, or success they had, or positive feedback they got for something. Why Our Fears Don't Match the Facts. There are a lot of psychological terms for the fact that people don't like to change their minds; "motivated reasoning", "confirmation bias", "cognitive dissonance". So I called up a few experts, and also took an informal poll of friends to see if other minds out there were a-changing and if so, how and why. Interestingly, having the person work to find strengths in her opponent's case only serves to *strengthen* the prior bias or argument. The main problem with changing someone’s mind these days is because so many lines have been drawn between politics, COVID 19 response, environmental impact, social justice, and school re-openings, just to name a few. How to find compromise among people, how to prevent making people enemies and stand together? Only later, when things are calm, are most people comfortable confronting their cognitive dissonance. It’s an existential threat, and one that causes profound suffering. If you are considering two contradictory ideas, you may feel physical discomfort, anxiety, and other unpleasant symptoms of your fair-minded attempt to consider other points of view. They could say or do things that may be offensive without even realizing it to be so. “Your brain would have this automatic fight-or-flight [response]…and your body prepares to protect itself.” Quite literally, our views and opinions may help protect us, keep us safe, literally help us survive. Understand why people don't change their minds. If you're plant-based yourself, you can probably think about one or two loved ones who you would love to see give up meat for their health. Sometimes (say, during a political discussion on Facebook), you might feel like you’re screaming into the endless void of space. Originally Answered: Why is it so hard to change our minds when given information that contradicts our beliefs? Finally, most importantly, give yourself time and space to change your mind. The good news is, when you minimize motivated reasoning, you develop a better critical thinking skillset, and you will … ! And those are just the beginning. If you’ve publicly stated your support for a belief—and who hasn’t, in these halcyon days of oversharing on social media—changing your mind becomes even more difficult. "The key is to trick the mind by giving it an excuse. In the modern world, if you become an atheist, openly homosexual, or support a political candidate unpopular with your crew, you may still find yourself ostracized. Your brain wants to protect you from changing your mind, and has dozens of different strategies for doing so. Posted Nov 07, 2017 Instead of, “My heuristics are not applicable in this environment,” your brain will tell you, “Costa Rica has terrible service.” If you decide to never go back to Costa Rica, you’ll never have to change your mind. In a small, rural community, social rejection could seriously undermine your options for work, recreation, and romantic options in the long term. At least your own mind, right? You're probably already aware that it's hard to change someone's mind with logical arguments and evidence, especially about emotionally charged topics. This is the third in a series of three. So the Cultural Cognition motivation to  conform our opinions to those of the groups/tribes with which we identify is powerful. Then you might actually have a conversation, instead of the argument you're headed for instead. Lot's of brain wash is done by our government on a huge scale: subliminal messages, emotional pictures of coughing babies, variety of laid back moms conversation that show their thoughtfulness. The Republicans who did the self-affirmation activity, the folks who were primed to feel good about themselves, were more likely to change their minds and say that the reduction in violence in Iraq was a reason to begin pulling out of Iraq. Here is what I am coming to… 1. In the wake of so many recent tragedies involving racial discrimination, Americans are taking a hard look at this systemic and divisive issue in our culture, and asking what can be done to change it. If you're plant-based yourself, you can probably think about one or two loved ones who you would love to see give up meat for their health. Even when those folks were absolutely correct, they were often the ones voted off the island. A new theory aims to make sense of it all. Changing someone's mind is difficult, and one argument alone won't usually do the trick. Opening your mind is necessary to explore opinions. Here is a company that just figured out a better way to do tax season with their accountants … but can’t change their practice? They are ones and zeroes to your mental computer, raw blank data that only take on meaning when run through the software of your feelings. Facebook. Hint: It’s not thinking outside the box. You have an opinion, which you like to think of as a fact. Part of your discomfort may be the sunk-cost bias, the fact that you’ve been enjoying something that was branded as healthy and made you feel virtuous. It is imperative that we open our … And it would be consistent with that interpretation that the more threatened we feel, by economic uncertainty, or threats of terrorism, or environmental doom and gloom, the more we circle the wagons of our opinions to keep the tribe together and keep ourselves safe...and the more fierce grow the inflexible "Culture War" polarities that impede compromise and progress. Changing your mind in life is a must, but do it for the right reasons. Are you going to change your mind about the smoothie, or not? It’s a question people have puzzled over for millennia, though the past year’s political events have brought it to the fore. So the next time you want to have a truly open-minded conversation on a contentious topic with someone who disagrees with you, don't launch right into the facts. For example, you may think that a clear sky is blue. You’re arguing politics with a random stranger on the Internet, reasonably sharing facts that support your argument while asking for them to do the same. Any mind. Cultural Cognition is the theory that we shape our opinions to conform to the views of the groups with which we most strongly identify. The tribe wants loyalty, predictability, and consistency. What's going on there? It’s based on available knowledge. It would be hard to change someone’s perspective because people also have a strong drive to hold on to pre-existing beliefs. When presented with new information, the brain immediately ramps up its defenses and gets ready to argue. This more subtle approach is more likely to actually change the person’s mind." For most of the past six million years, being ostracized was a death sentence. An entrenched idea is hard to change but not impossible. Instead of pushing them hard, share with them what it was that prompted you to make the switch. Not coincidentally, those are the beliefs we are most resistant to changing. You’re less likely to change your mind if you have a low sense of self-worth. Your brain reads that data as if the entire tribe were under attack. I learn that both sides standing their ground, without any change to change their opinion. That kind of commitment to cohesiveness is what allows your team to organize quickly and effectively, for hunting, gathering, war, or almost any other endeavor. You argue the facts, as thoughtfully and non-confrontationally as you can, but the facts don't seem to get you anywhere. As it is constantly doing, one mind at a time. Not really. Get the best, logical and valid information. In fact, you’re more likely to double down in support of the shared belief when presented with challenging new information. Myths and misperceptions surrounding veganism make changing someone’s mind about eating meat tougher than a well-done steak. Which means that if you and your friends share the same political party, religion, or related belief, your brain will resist changing those beliefs as if it were a life or death matter, no matter what new information comes in. main reason lies within ones values. In New York City, for example, you’re expected to stand up for yourself and speak your mind—that’s how things get done. As you suggest, I suspect a (the?) But you don't need academic semantics to know that trying to get somebody to see things your way is tough if they go into the argument with another point of view. In a city of several million, you’ll be able to find another tribe—eventually. A lot. (But consider the historical resistance to new technologies and techniques, such as washing your hands before surgery.). A paper by Babcock and Loewenstein (1997) shows that the best way to "de-bias" someone, to break down someone's wall as you put it, is to have that person work to find flaws in their own case. It really helped to increase my understanding, and the advice was so useful and easily implemented. People with contrary opinions were a danger to the system, the tribe, and the children. Most Republicans at the time thought the troops should stay. (That's far more simplistic than any academic would ever put it!) For example, you find out that your favorite smoothie has more calories than three cans of your favorite soft drink. A new study looks at participants’ brain activity as they compare their own opinions to others’ to find out why it can be so very difficult to change someone’s mind. Myths and misperceptions surrounding veganism make changing someone’s mind about eating meat tougher than a well-done steak. Shares . And no matter where you live, your brain evolved to work with relatively small groups of 150 people or less. Small wonder then that we fight so hard to keep those walls strong and tall. We depend on our groups, our tribes, literally for our survival. Whether or not we like to admit it, each and every one of us is liable to exhibit confirmation bias. The sky looks blue, because air molecules scatter light in a way that our eyes process as blue. The self-affirmation research seems to support this. And it strengthens the group's acceptance of us as members in good standing. If you could only tie that special someone to a chair and force them to listen. The psychology of risk perception referred to above is described in detail in David Ropeik's new book, How Risky Is It, Really? our party is in power). And it takes no great leap in logic to see how any perceived in-group/out-group friction would serve to put one on guard - people are very choosy when it comes to accepting criticism. The main challenge of this is that it is so hard to change someone’s mind once they are set in their ways, primarily if they are raised to believe a certain way. What’s common sense in New York City could get you in trouble in Costa Rica. For example, you may need to let go of your belief that facts can actually change people’s minds if you want to get anywhere when you’re having a dialogue with them. An Atheist Neuroscientist Finds Faith in Bipolar Mania, 10 Tips for Turning Procrastination into Precrastination, Why Some People Don’t Seek Mental Health Services. Shouldn't a cognitive mind be open to evidence...to the facts...to reason? That is, we are more likely to seek people and information that appear to agree with our own beliefs. Humans aren’t designed to thrive on our own in the wilderness. Why Our Fears Don't Match the Facts. Probably not. And I admit, I am in one of those polarized camps. Instead of pushing them hard, share with them what prompted you to make the switch. How and in what ways, the mindsets can be altered? People who feel good about themselves are more likely to be open-minded! But your brain loves common sense, and will interpret the reaction to your brash behavior incorrectly. It appears that the less threatened we feel, the more flexible our opinions are likely to be. Why is it so Hard to Change Someone’s Mind? Facts, figures, and data sometimes seem to have no effect. That does two things. So, if you want to change someone’s mind, paying attention to language, both your own and that of the person you’re communicating with, could also help you shift things in your direction. This is where the power of story can be useful. Last month, The New Yorker published an article called ‘Why facts don’t change our minds’, in which the author, Elizabeth Kolbert, reviews some research showing that even ‘reasonable-seeming people are often totally irrational’. Happily, most of the incorrect beliefs we cling to are fairly benign, otherwise the tribe would have already corrected itself. Hugo Mercier explains how arguments are more convincing when they rest on a good knowledge of the audience, taking into account what the audience believes, who they trust, and what they value. BS Features News Science. )Let's agree that mind control comes under the umbrella of persuasion and influ… By Rick Nauert Ph.D. 19 January 2011. So what does the tribe value? Instead of focusing on an overwhelming canon of information, find stories from real people who are exploring healthy lifestyles and who share your tastes (and maybe fears of green juices), and struggle—just like you—with finding healthy meal replacements that actually taste delicious, too. In the real world, new information doesn’t change many minds. Both areas suggest that we cling to our views because the walls of our opinions are like battlements that keep the good guys inside (us) safe from the enemy without (all those dopes with different opinions than ours). Outstanding post. But no mental construct is actual reality itself. If you are considering two contradictory ideas, you may feel physical discomfort, anxiety, and other unpleasant symptoms of your fair-minded attempt to consider other points of view. This post is the first in a series of three. Share. Wouldn’t seeing things clearly help people survive? Remember, your brain is hiding plenty of truths from you, too. Because our beliefs are foundational to reality itself. In the meantime, there’s plenty of advice backed up with scientific evidence available online. Why is it so hard to convince others to change their minds? Of course, convincing someone to look for flaws in their own case may not be so easy. Why Is It So Hard to Change Minds? Why is it so Hard to Change Someone’s Mind? Melissa Finucane and Paul Slovic and others call this "The Affect Heuristic" , the subconscious process of taking information and processing it through our feelings and instincts and life circumstances and experiences...anything that gives the facts valence - meaning...which turns raw meaningless data into our judgments and views and opinions. “The response in the brain that we see is very similar to what would happen if, say, you were walking through the forest and came across a bear,” explains Sarah Gimbel. This is why the brain reads ostracization, or social rejection, as physical pain. In Costa Rica, this is seen as rude, and makes people defensive and irritable. Wouldn’t it make sense, in the context of evolution, for humans to embrace change as new information comes in? One study, in press, was done back in 2008 and asked people about withdrawing troops from Iraq. ReddIt. At some point, you have to decide. It still may not happen. I saw interesting movies crafted well . There’s no need to repeatedly point out the calorie count. And try to remember something like that about yourself. To your subconscious, ostracization isn’t just about missing prom. David McRaney, bestselling author of "You Are Not So Smart" (and host of the blog and podcast by the same name) describes his experiences with people who have done an about-face on some important topic, like … Why do arguments change people’s minds in some cases and backfire in others? They don't seem to WANT it to move. A new study looks at participants’ brain activity as they compare their own opinions to others’ to find out why it can be so very difficult to change someone’s mind. Don’t be confrontational, even with yourself. Why Is It So Hard to Change Someone’s Mind? Common sense is another tool your brain uses to keep you in line. Then along come to pro spin people including AAP and CDC. The group that had not done the self-affirmation remained adamant that the troops should stay. It creates solidarity in the group, which increases the chances that our group's views will prevail in society (e.g. Pinterest. Your brain wants to protect you from changing your mind, and has dozens of different strategies for doing so. Why is it harder to change your mind and behavior in the short-term? Two separate groups of Republicans were shown statistics about the dramatic reduction of violence in Iraq following the "surge" in American troops. Twitter. One group was asked to do a self-affirmation activity (they were asked to remember a time when they felt good about themselves by living up to a moral value they held). When our group's views prevail, and our group accepts us, our survival chances go up. S mindset suggest, I suspect a ( the? a death sentence a chair and force them tell! Only tie that special someone to a chair and force them to listen us liable... 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