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Why facts do not change people - TEDx Warwick 2015


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In this annotated version of my TEDx talk I consider why we often seem to ignore facts whilst being perfectly happy to believe nonsense? We can learn from our opponents and I present a few lessons from both sides that I hope will help people change...oh and there's a little tribute to Spock who sadly died just before our event took place

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Why facts do not change people - TEDx Warwick 2015

  1. 1. “Why facts done change people” Scott D McArthur TEDx Warwick 2015
  2. 2. “Hands up if you would change your diet if a medical doctor told you that you have a particular type of heart disease which if you don’t radically change your diet there was a 99% chance that you would die soon if you didn’t”
  3. 3. …wouldn't change even in these life changing circumstances
  4. 4. So here is another story…..
  5. 5. …heard about the Yale Goal study?
  6. 6. So I wondered: “why is there such a gap between the findings of science, academia research vs the practice of businesses and individuals?” and why do we seem to be drawn to the guru rather than the scientist?
  7. 7. I’m from the darkside
  8. 8. I have spent almost a quarter of a century working in “Human Resources” and as if that isn’t bad enough, I also worked for 9 years as a “Business Consultant”. Neither profession could be described as bullshit free.
  9. 9. “Thud Factor”
  10. 10. Solutions in search of a problem
  11. 11. A few years ago I had a life changing experience of my own….
  12. 12. “…from “human remains” to “human resources”…”
  13. 13. Cognitive Dissonance “why the apparent difference between academia and business”?
  14. 14. “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent…it is the one that is most adaptable to change“ Charles Darwin
  15. 15. Woops
  16. 16. Pay walls and academic “English”
  17. 17. Abstract
  18. 18. Rigour v Practice
  19. 19. …when people with strong beliefs are faced with equally strong, opposing beliefs (or facts), their beliefs often become stronger.
  20. 20. …the facts don’t work?
  21. 21. “…the principle that evidence from independent, unrelated sources can "converge" to strong conclusions” Consilience
  22. 22. Stronger conclusions
  23. 23. So what can we learn from the scientist and the guru without taking sides?
  24. 24. Describe your facts/findings as a story
  25. 25. Create a good first impression
  26. 26. Appeal to the audiences emotions or needs
  27. 27. Use authority(but not too much)
  28. 28. Investment and commitment to the outcome is important
  29. 29. Encouraging a tribal culture
  30. 30. Check ALL of the “facts”
  31. 31. Facts don’t change people, understanding them does Facts don’t change people understanding them does
  32. 32. …and from the scientist? “Logic is the beginning of wisdom not the end” Thanks Spock
  33. 33. To see my full talk click on the image below: