We’ve all been sufficiently frustrated by the gap between the values someone espouses and the policies they support that we’ve gotten into political arguments to help them see their error. Perhaps, if we’re more honest about our own motivation, we just reacted to get rid of that visceral dissonant feeling that “something that wrong just can’t be allowed to stand.”
And, no doubt, whenever you do that, you lay out a clear, fact-based, logically consistent case for the correct view.
You’ve probably done it many times—and, if you’re like most people, you’ve changed next-to-no minds at all.
In fact, you may have often come away even more convinced of your opponent’s wrong-headedness than when you started, and likely gave your opponent the exact same view of you.
But you keep doing it—even though it does very little good indeed.
Given all the practice everyone is getting, why are millions of decent arguments made by clearly thinking individuals almost all utterly useless when it comes to enlightening others—let alone changing their minds?
This article will give you the answer. Understanding it may change your life.
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Contributed by Robin Koerner of Foundation for Economic Education.