• Posts
  • RSS
  • ◂◂RSS
  • Contact

  • Status and Changing your Mind

    March 1st, 2012
    cogsci  [html]
    When you hear powerful evidence or arguments that should get you to revise your beliefs, not only do all sorts of cognitive biases fight the changes but so do the social factors of status and face saving. Perhaps I've long been a vocal proponent of X which implies Y, and you show me that Y isn't always true. It's very hard to just straight up admit "ok, I'm not a hardcore Xist anymore." There's a status loss in letting yourself be convinced.

    For a long time I thought that I was stronger than this, that saving face only mattered as much as I let it matter. I wish I could freely admit when I've been convinced, but I often can't manage to. [1] Instead I'll finish a conversation defending my earlier beliefs and only later start acting on my new ones.

    After a discussion where someone didn't admit to any change of mind, I'll often see them later having changed their behavior. So now if I'm trying to persuade someone I don't focus on securing verbal agreement. Instead I just try to be as convincing as possible, and notice if they come around later. [2]


    [1] This is not a helpful trait: I'd like other people to let me know when I'm wrong or when they have evidence I'm not considering, but if they never get the satisfaction of knowing they've convinced me they may just feel like they've wasted their time, and not try in the future. So I'm working on it.

    [2] Keeping people from feeling personally invested in one side or the other of an argument is probably also helpful: I understand discussions are much more likely to convince bystanders than participants.

    Comment via: google plus, facebook, lesswrong

    Recent posts on blogs I like:

    What should we do about network-effect monopolies?

    Many large companies today are software monopolies that give their product away for free to get monopoly status, then do horrible things. Can we do anything about this?

    via benkuhn.net July 5, 2020

    More on the Deutschlandtakt

    The Deutschlandtakt plans are out now. They cover investment through 2040, but even beforehand, there’s a plan for something like a national integrated timetable by 2030, with trains connecting the major cities every 30 minutes rather than hourly. But the…

    via Pedestrian Observations July 1, 2020

    How do cars fare in crash tests they're not specifically optimized for?

    Any time you have a benchmark that gets taken seriously, some people will start gaming the benchmark. Some famous examples in computing are the CPU benchmark specfp and video game benchmarks. With specfp, Sun managed to increase its score on 179.art (a su…

    via Posts on Dan Luu June 30, 2020

    more     (via openring)


  • Posts
  • RSS
  • ◂◂RSS
  • Contact