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Changing your mind on an issue.

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7/26/2013 7:11:11 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
In reading a book - "Thinking, fast and slow" - Daniel Kahneman - I came across two great quotes (below) that apply to debating.

I am looking for your thoughts.

Our comforting conviction that the world makes sense rests on a secure foundation: our almost unlimited ability to ignore our ignorance.

A general limitation of the human mind is its imperfect ability to reconstruct past states of knowledge, or beliefs that have changed. Once you adopt a new view of the world (or of any part of it), you immediately lose much of your ability to recall what you used to believe before your mind changed.
Many psychologists have studied what happens when people change their minds. Choosing a topic on which minds are not completely made up"say, the death penalty"the experimenter carefully measures people"s attitudes. Next, the participants see or hear a persuasive pro or con message. Then the experimenter measures people"s attitudes again; they usually are closer to the persuasive message they were exposed to. Finally, the participants report the opinion they held beforehand. This task turns out to be surprisingly difficult. Asked to reconstruct their former beliefs, people retrieve their current ones instead"an instance of substitution"and many cannot believe that they ever felt differently.

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