With the nation deeply polarized, research by David Broockman and Joshua Kalla has found that advocates for hot-button issues can improve their chances of changing an opponent’s mind when they ask questions, listen sincerely and engage them with stories. (Photo by Tania Liu via Flickr | CC BY-ND 2.0) The nation is locked in a state of polarization unprecedented in the past half-century, with deep, volatile divisions around issues of politics, race, religion and the environment. These issues can split families, break friendships and create enormous stress in communities — and yet, having a constructive discussion about the disagreements often seems impossible.
If you’re trying to persuade someone on the other side of that chasm, UC Berkeley political scientist David Broockman says that, chances are, you’re going about it the wrong way. In a series of studies over the past five years, he has found insights that contradict much of what we think we know about engaging those who disagree with us. David Broockman, associate professor of political science When it comes to changing someone’s feelings about issues, he says, data are less compelling than human stories. Listening is more powerful than just talking. Accepting the other person, even if […]
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