How Psychology Can Help You Change Someone’s Mind

“When the brain is confronted with novel information that produces cognitive dissonance, we assimilate that conflict by updating the information in our interpretations or by updating the model of reality that we have generated to understand it. ,” he says.

Assimilation occurs when the brain takes in new information and fits it into existing models in the brain. Accommodation is when we accept that our current model is incomplete or incorrect. The brain updates the model so that novel information is no longer an anomaly but a new layer of understanding.

The easiest way to understand how this happens is to think of a child who is learning how the world works and building complex neural structures. For example, if they see a dog for the first time and are asked the word for it, the brain creates a category that defines “four-legged nonhumans” as dogs. If later they see a horse, they can say, “dog.” His mind is assimilating. Once healed, the brain switches to accommodation.

“To expand your mind, you really have to create a new category that includes horses and dogs,” McRaney says. “You have to change your mind, taking what you already know, but updating your interpretations.”

why do you think what you think

Everyone’s mind is filled with beliefs, attitudes, and values, says McRaney. He defines beliefs as an assessment of your belief in the truth or falsehood of an information. Attitude is a positive or negative evaluation of something. And value is an approximation of what is most important and most valuable of our time. All these things combined affect how one thinks.

To better understand how someone’s beliefs and perspectives can be opposite to yours, McRaney likes to give examples. “dress” 2015 debate. Some people saw the dress as black and blue and others saw it as white and gold. If you looked at the dress on one side, you wouldn’t be able to see it on the other side.

“People were getting into arguments,” McRaney says. “They were saying, ‘If you don’t see how I do there must be something wrong with you.'”

Turns out, the photo was overexposed, and how you saw the dress was related to the amount of time you spent in sunlight versus artificial light. Later two years of research With more than 10,000 participants, Pascal Wallis, a neuroscientist who studies perception, found that the more time a person spent exposed to artificial light, which is predominantly yellow, the more likely they were to He saw the dress as black and blue. His brain was unconsciously processing the overexposure as artificially lit, removing yellow light, and giving off blurry shades. For a man who spent more time exposed to natural light, the opposite was true, and their brains subtracted blue light and viewed the dress as white and gold.

“We do not know that our brains do this; We are at the end of the process,” McRaney says. “What’s surprising is the kind of perceptions you make of your life choices.”

change someone else’s mind

When you meet people who disagree with you on certain topics, it’s important to realize that you are unaware of all the forces that went into drawing their conclusions. Someone else’s beliefs, attitudes, and values ​​are made up of the culmination of years of experiences and behaviors. People can and do change their mind for many reasons, and one of them is because of persuasion, such as a face-to-face conversation, learning experience, or media messaging.

McRaney says that successful persuasion involves taking a person through stages, helping them to better understand their thinking. “You can’t persuade another person to change their mind if that person doesn’t want to do it,” he says. “Persuasion is encouraging most people to realize that change is possible. All persuasion is self-persuasion. People change or refuse based on their own desires, motivations, and internal counterarguments; and to focus on these factors. than, an argument becomes more likely to lead to a change of mind.”

If you argue with someone and your only goal is to prove that you are right and they are wrong, you guarantee that neither side of that argument will understand the higher truth, which is why you separate it. see the way. Instead, McRaney says it’s important to put forward your intentions. For example, you may be concerned that someone is being misled or you think there are other options that may produce better results.

“Not only does this put you on solid moral ground, but it also increases your chances of success,” he says. “If you don’t, people will take your intentions for granted. If they believe that your position is that they are gullible or stupid or deceived or in the wrong group or bad person, of course they will protest, And the facts will now be irrelevant.”

let someone else change their mind

When you try to change someone else’s mind, you must be open to changing your mind as well. McRaney suggests asking yourself, “Am I right about everything?”

“Most people would say, no,” he says. “But then ask yourself, ‘What am I wrong about?’ Suddenly it becomes a very difficult question to answer. If you know you must be wrong about something, and you have no idea what those things are, the next question is, ‘How do I go about searching? I can?’ If you don’t have a clear answer to this, it probably means you’re acting in a way that doesn’t allow you to discover your areas of ignorance or conflict.”

Some people are very curious to know what they are wrong about, and they discover it. Nice to update and adjust. Some people are very resistant to it.

“Changing your mind can be difficult because it’s more difficult and cognitively more costly and dangerous,” says McRaney. “If you say to yourself that maybe I am on the wrong side of the issue, completely factually wrong, which requires a lot of updating throughout the nervous system. So, we oppose that and that Avoid, especially when it’s about your identity.”

But being ready to change your mind can lead to major changes in culture and epilogues that create a paradigm shift. “When organisms have the ability to change but have little incentive to do so, they remain mostly the same from generation to generation,” he says. “But when the pressure of adaptation increases, the speed of evolution increases in response.”

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