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The Science of How Minds Change and Views Become Entrenched - Communicate 2017 - Kris De Meyer


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The Science of How Minds Change and Views Become Entrenched - Communicate 2017 - Kris De Meyer

  1. 1. The Science of How Minds Change and Views Become Entrenched Kris De Meyer – King’s College London –
  2. 2. “A man with a conviction is a hard man to change. Tell him you disagree and he turns away. Show him facts or figures and he questions your sources. Appeal to logic and he fails to see your point.” Leon Festinger (1956)
  3. 3. “How does it feel like to believe?” “After you’ve seen all the evidence…” “It all fit together. I knew it was right.” “You’ve somehow gotten to this corner…” Video available here:
  4. 4. Two aspects to beliefs ‘belief’: any idea our brains accept as “true” • a reasoned component  “I have evidence” • an intuitive component  “It feels right”  “It all fits”  “It somehow happened”
  5. 5. Not one type of thinking, but two… Intuitions Reasoninginteract Source: Jonathan Haidt, The Righteous Mind Controlled Analytical Automatic Experiential Not “irrational vs rational” nor “emotional vs rational”
  6. 6. Our Elephants in Operation Video available here:
  7. 7. Social Attribution | Mind Reading We automatically assign • intentions • emotions • character traits Significance • social thinking = automatic (elephant) • +: minds are tailored to respond to stories about people • !: triggered when people detect stealth behaviour change interventions • -: assigning negative motivations in contentious debates It allows us to • cooperate • judge who we trust/distrust
  8. 8. Source: Elliot Aronson & Carol Tavris, “Mistakes Were Made” Opinion-> Action or Action -> Opinion?
  9. 9. Value Map
  10. 10. Significance of Value Differences Strongly affect initial “resonance” (elephant) • acceptance • indifference • angry rejection • despondent Examples of climate change value frames “We have to change our behaviour to save the planet” “Where can I buy the solution to climate change?” “We’re too insignificant to have an effect on climate.” “It’s too late. We can’t do anything about it.”
  11. 11. Summary (so far)
  12. 12. Two Unintended Consequences of Interventions
  13. 13. Shaping the path Instructing the rider Leveraging Internalisation Three Modes of Behaviour Change
  14. 14. Lab vs. Real World
  15. 15. Different Contexts for Interventions
  16. 16. “Stealth” behaviour change interventions can and will breed resistance in long run
  17. 17. Links