Cognitive dissonance
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20-01-2018, 03:24 PM
Cognitive dissonance
Hello! I want to give a talk to a great freethinker's group (some would call an atheist group) soon about cognitive dissonance. Popping the bubbles that we all live in. How to talk to aka "confront" believers or Trump supporters, etc without losing your mind or running away screaming. I'm reading about motivational interviewing, which is a technique that psychologists use to plant doubt, which is nice. Do you all have any wisdom on books/articles/YouTubes/podcasts, etc that may help with this?
It's plain that you can't run at them with a frontal attack on their beliefs.
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20-01-2018, 04:23 PM
RE: Cognitive dissonance
(20-01-2018 03:24 PM)Wil Jay Wrote:  Hello! I want to give a talk to a great freethinker's group (some would call an atheist group) soon about cognitive dissonance. Popping the bubbles that we all live in. How to talk to aka "confront" believers or Trump supporters, etc without losing your mind or running away screaming. I'm reading about motivational interviewing, which is a technique that psychologists use to plant doubt, which is nice. Do you all have any wisdom on books/articles/YouTubes/podcasts, etc that may help with this?
It's plain that you can't run at them with a frontal attack on their beliefs.

Will,

Good question, but tough. Yes, very few adults like, or will accept, any assertion that their thinking is faulty.

Safest might be a general analysis of cognitive dissonance, avoiding specific examples relating to folks in the room. Specific examples have a weakness, as listeners tend to go for the emotive element of that example and lose the general point. I've seen this happen many times.

OTOH a philosophical analysis without examples doesn't make for an interesting talk as examples are the 'hook'.

Sorry I don't have more; will have a look for something.

D.
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20-01-2018, 11:07 PM
RE: Cognitive dissonance
In a one-to-one discussion, I'm a huge supporter of the Socratic Method: asking fair, non-loaded questions, and then talking through the possible answers and implications. I much prefer this to simply announcing to people that such and such is true/false. Writing on a forum like this is different, as it's intended to be read and interacted with by a wider audience, and often involves analyzing responses in detail and highlighting mistakes. This tends to not go over very well in person in my experience.

The key is encouraging people to think, and not presenting the assumption that you are right. Be willing to think along with them.

I have a website here which discusses the issues and terminology surrounding religion and atheism. It's hopefully user friendly to all.
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21-01-2018, 12:14 AM
RE: Cognitive dissonance
This is the best summary I've come across so far:
http://theoatmeal.com/comics/believe

We'll love you just the way you are
If you're perfect -- Alanis Morissette
(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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11-02-2018, 10:09 PM
RE: Cognitive dissonance
Thanks! Pretty damn good info. The end is kinda hokey, but most of it was spot on. I love that it stays scientific.
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11-02-2018, 10:34 PM
RE: Cognitive dissonance
Wielding a hefty tire iron helps.


Big Grin

....

I'm a double atheist. I don't believe in your god or your politician.
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12-02-2018, 01:22 AM (This post was last modified: 12-02-2018 02:03 AM by Sushisnake.)
RE: Cognitive dissonance
Maybe highlight some of your own, past or present? Give funny examples that you know will get a laugh. If you make it about how cognitive dissonance made/makes you stupid, maybe they'll think about how it makes them stupid, too.

I just had a thought and I don't know if it's helpful, but maybe do something on the cognitive dissonance needed to believe in two-party democracy? How can it be democratic? How can either party- or even both together- possibly encompass anyone's worldview so completely you can fully identify yourself as a Democrat/Republican? A vibrant, fully functional democracy would have many viewpoints, it would have dissent- and it would have many political parties or representatives, representing those views in Congress, surely? If you don't have that, you've just got two tribes.

Also, don’t take someone's voting pattern as indicative of their politics, not even if they self-identify in accordance with it. If there's one thing I've learned in 52 years, it's that everyone wants the same thing for their country and their people. They want it to be a safe, just and fair place for everyone. They want it more for their children and grandchildren than they do for themselves, and what's more, they want these things for everyone in the world. Seriously, start speaking about specific issues that affect people's welfare directly, and the individual you're talking to reveals himself/herself to be an altruist, not a Republican or a Democrat. We vary in the roadmap of how we get there, but we all want the same safe, just, fair world.
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12-02-2018, 03:37 AM
RE: Cognitive dissonance
I've found that the Socratic approach can be quite useful, either in getting people to question deeply held views of their own, or to expose dishonesty on the part of others.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socratic_questioning

It requires patience on the part of the questioner - with some people you want to shout at them - but is very effective. The interesting aspect of it is that if you are in a forum or group where you are faced with one key antagonist when it comes to the point where their lack of logic and reason or lack of evidence for their own position becomes clear then if they double-down on their position their own dishonesty and cognitive dissonance is exposed to everyone who is taking part.

The invisible and the non-existent look very much alike
Excreta Tauri Sapientam Fulgeat (The excrement of the bull causes wisdom to flee)
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