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Welcome to the nexus of ethics, psychology, morality, technology, health care, and philosophy

Monday, January 5, 2015

How do people change their minds about issues?

By Brian Turner
Originally published

Here is an excerpt:

2) Pay attention to social intuitionism and speak to the “elephant” first.  One of the three main points of moral psychology is that intuitions come first and strategic reasoning comes second.  Unless we have a system for doing otherwise, we pretty much just go with our gut feeling and then confabulate. This means we subconsciously come up with reasons to justify our position that our mind conveniently serves us as “reasoned” evidence rather than the knee-jerk response that it actually is.

In other words, the person has to like you, or at least not dislike you, before they’ll be open to your message.  If the person doesn’t like you and you try to present your idea, it doesn’t matter how persuasive, articulate or evidence-based your comments are, they’re not going to change their mind.

This is one of the reasons why you can defeat every counterpoint that someone makes about your argument and they still won’t listen to you – you can’t intellectually bludgeon someone into changing their mind.

The entire blog post is here.

Editor's note: This blog post relates psychotherapy as well as other forms of persuasive communication.