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> Why your logical arguments don't convince anyone of anything
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Brett-Butler
post Mar 28 2017, 05:25 PM
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I think I've mentioned before about how much I love the book the Righteous Mind by moral psychologist Jonathan Haidt. The book has had a profound impact on me since I read it back in 2015, and if you get the chance, you should definitely read it yourself. The book explains why people are divided about politics, and how people can overcome their political differences and engage in dialogue rather than shouting matches. And in this hyper-partisan time we leave in, particularly with Trump/Brexit et al, such dialogue seems more necessary than ever.

Of the insights that stuck me from the book, the one that sticks in my head is that conservatives have a natural advantage over liberals because conservatives are better at understanding liberals than vice versa, as liberals base their worldview on three guiding principles, whilst conservatives base theirs on six (of which three are the same as liberals), so as long as liberals don't appeal to the three that conservatives find important, then they have no chance of getting through to them.

Another insight from his book is that 99% of decisions are made on instinct rather than through evidence, with people making their mind up and then finding evidence to match their belief, rather than the other way around. The metaphor Haidt uses for this is the "elephant rider", where you think that the rider is in control, when in fact it is the elephant.

Someone has made a helpful infographic about this theory, which everyone should watch if you want to understand how to better engage in civil political discussion, and even better, convince somebody to change their own opinions, or at least consider others.

Thought this might be of interest to you all.
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Silas
post Mar 28 2017, 07:58 PM
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Thanks for this Brett! It was a really interesting and thought provoking read.
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Yeasty Clutch
post Mar 28 2017, 08:09 PM
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This is very interesting!

I'll have to read that.
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Jacob.
post Mar 28 2017, 08:13 PM
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Thanks Brett, I'm loving the look of this so far. happy.gif
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Doctor Blind
post Mar 28 2017, 08:16 PM
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Thanks for that - I would argue that most of my decisions are not based on instinct (forecasting the weather takes a lot of careful consideration of huge amounts of data.. tongue.gif ) however definitely a lot of my politics are likely informed by instinct and the emotional side of my brain with evidence to support it sought after and a lot of inertia once I've formed a strong opinion... hmm.

I also find it interesting how the algorithms that drive our social media (Facebook and Twitter news feeds etc.) help to reaffirm our opinions without challenging them.

My Dad always told me to buy a paper that agrees with and one that doesn't your political POV so that you have your views challenged. I guess we are in danger of losing that and become increasingly divided/segregated and unable to empathise or understand each other's POV. Brexit and Trump are two very vivid examples of this IMO.


This post has been edited by Doctor Blind: Mar 28 2017, 08:24 PM
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Silas
post Mar 28 2017, 08:22 PM
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I tend to try and consume centrist media mostly so I'm getting a balanced view of the issues. I traditionally liked the I when it was part of the Independent stable, because it was fairly neutral and gave you the facts you needed in a easily digestible format. As much as I enjoy The National at times I do get the feeling that I'm sitting in an echo chamber.


This infographic is really interesting for me as I have fallen into that logical trap so many times. It's really interesting to see the science behind how our views are formed and I'm actually quite intrigued to try its suggestion out when I head back up to my parents in a couple of weeks.
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Brett-Butler
post Mar 28 2017, 08:36 PM
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QUOTE(Doctor Blind @ Mar 28 2017, 09:16 PM) *
Thanks for that - I would argue that most of my decisions are not based on instinct (forecasting the weather takes a lot of careful consideration of huge amounts of data.. tongue.gif )


But perhaps the reason you got into meteorology might have been due to instinct rather than rational thought. Perhaps the rational thought process for wanting to forecast the weather is that doing do helps to ensure that the correct policy decisions are made based on future climate developments. Of course, the instinctual trigger might have been that you saw a really pretty cloud one day, saw that it was awesome, and decided you wanted to study more clouds (especially if they're cirrus clouds. Cirrus clouds are awesome tongue.gif )

QUOTE
I also find it interesting how the algorithms that drive our social media (Facebook and Twitter news feeds etc.) help to reaffirm our opinions without challenging them.

My Dad always told me to buy a paper that agrees with and one that doesn't your political POV so that you have your views challenged. I guess we are in danger of losing that and become increasingly divided/segregated and unable to empathise or understand each other's POV. Brexit and Trump are two very vivid examples of this IMO.


I've been trying to get into the habit of doing that myself, albeit with magazines (I subscribe to two on each sides of the "aisle"), but I know that it's easy to gravitate towards just those that reaffirm your own beliefs. It's one of the reasons why I pulled myself off social media a few months back, relying only on newpapers & the BBC News website for my news.


I'd also say that if you found that infographic interesting, I would really recommend buying or borrowing a copy of The Righteous Mind, as the "elephant rider" is only a fraction of the insights that he discusses.
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popchartfreak
post Mar 28 2017, 08:41 PM
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I approach all my views through the assumption that any cause should be based on fairness truth and caring. Conservatives tend to base their views on how it affects themselves first and foremost not whether its for the greater good.

Apparently snowflakes who put the welfare of others ahead of themselves, who look at fact based evidence, are objects of derision to nastier more right wing elements.

Rather be a snowflake than alf garnett..... (one to google) tongue.gif

The human race is SO doomed of course, in the long run, cos its a constant battle with selfishness and stupidity.
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Brett-Butler
post Mar 28 2017, 08:41 PM
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QUOTE(Emperor Silas @ Mar 28 2017, 09:22 PM) *
It's really interesting to see the science behind how our views are formed and I'm actually quite intrigued to try its suggestion out when I head back up to my parents in a couple of weeks.


Let me know how it goes if you try it out. I've not really tried it as much myself (outside of Buzzjack anyway), so I'm interested to know how it goes down.
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Brett-Butler
post Mar 28 2017, 08:48 PM
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QUOTE(popchartfreak @ Mar 28 2017, 09:41 PM) *
I approach all my views through the assumption that any cause should be based on fairness truth and caring. Conservatives tend to base their views on how it affects themselves first and foremost not whether its for the greater good.


Well, you're not too far off what the Moral Foundations Theory states, albeit the first part anyway. According to the Moral Foundations theory, liberals tend to emphasize care, fairness & liberty (freedom), whilst conservatives tend to emphasize authority, sanctity and loyalty. The only difference is that according to Haidt, conservatives do tend to also embrace the same three as liberals as well, albeit not as strongly, and in many cases not in the same way as liberals.
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Iz~
post Mar 28 2017, 08:49 PM
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This makes sense to my mind and it's all very well explained so thanks for sharing that.

I have lost so much patience for political arguments lately so I'll try that if I run into a situation like that. See mostly it's all just coming from a sense of fairness and altruism why I consider myself liberal (and I do try and avoid echo chambers by getting my news from a variety of reputable central sources), and getting that across in a debate while being respectful is always difficult so knowing about why it works helps my reasoning a lot.
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Chez Wombat
post Mar 28 2017, 09:07 PM
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Now I'm gonna picture a big elephant in my head whenever I get reactionary about politics now, darn it x

Really great read though and definitely true and fascinating to read today. While I'd certainly call myself open minded, I'm guilty of trying to block out opposing views when I'm set in my views, even if I do find some truth in them, but I just attempt to go for what I think is fair and will keep harmony in most cases.

What he said about social theory is true too though, as I feel like influence of those you love/trust would come into changing your views, my dad is quite centrist in his views and often says something quite controversial which I'm often appalled with at first, but I do see there's rationale behind it and it makes sense and thus do get drawn into it a bit more.


This post has been edited by Chez Wombat: Mar 28 2017, 09:08 PM
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