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Thread: How to change the mind of the wingnuts - psychology

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    How to change the mind of the wingnuts
    Wingnuts, right, left, or just weird, are beyond reasoning so discussion will not change their mind. Anything said that does not mesh with their fixed mindset will just be ignored. Note; if someone thinks of anyone who disagrees with them is a wingnut then that is an indication that they are the one who is the wingnut.

    However, those who simply hold differing opinions can change through reasoned discussion, including the one trying to 'teach the other correct thoughts'.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhea View Post
    There ARE ways to get a real discussion to happen, and to engage people in ways to actually "do the research", but they may not be easy.
    Human history is not one of democracy. It's a history of monarchy and suppression, war and violence. Democracy and reasoned objectives wherein people see other persons and groups as equals isn't our legacy. We don't share common goals. Rather we're fearful to the point of aggression, just like most dogs.

    We're no more rational with one another than our canine brethren are with their canine brethren. We like to dominate and exploit the weak and only tolerate them if it serves our selfish purposes. If we can get an advantage on someone we take it because that's how we evolved to this point. We like to think we're GORT but GORT wasn't selfish and delusional, just a fictional machine that was about its program.

    Human groups need common goals, and sometimes the common goal is nothing more noble than a common enemy or a common threat, not terribly proactive behavior for the allegedly most intelligent species on the planet.

    I wish it were different but I think that's a fair reading of where we are.

  3. Top | #33
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    I believed the term for the left is Moonbat.

    The question is more general. How does culture evolve? The idea that centuries of human cultural inertia is goung to e magicaly changed in a short time is fanciful.

    Demonizing one side only reinforces beliefs.

    In a recent commercial I watched there was a racial mix of people presented I a positive light. In the long run that is what will bring about change.

    It is a marketing problem.

    Today there is media witch hunt that is ferreting out all and any speech and behavior of the right that can possibly be made to seem racial and biased. That only reinforces the right's belief that the left is out to get them personally and denying them liberty.

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    The real left is about rationality combined with natural human empathy.

    Anybody who isn't a crazed right winger is thought of as being on the left but the left is not just about caring whether you are rational or not.

    The right today in the US is mostly about narcissism and a lack of natural empathy.

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    You probably need something along the lines of a railgun or Thor system to crack their thick skulls.

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    If things had gone differently our president might have become the keeper of the Holy Hammer.

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    I was going to start a new thread, but decided that what I was considering might fit in with this older thread. One thing I'm pretty sure of is that we don't change minds by attacking each other. Sadly, social media allows us to do too much of that, imo.

    Some of you might have heard of the Black guy who convinced a very large number of former members of the KKK to leave the Klan and start seeing Black people in a positive way. I guess if KKK members can be persuaded to leave the Klan, perhaps we can convince right wing extremists to consider some of their positions are harmful to them and to others.


    it's common to feel that a right win conservative or a racist isn't going to listen to a bleeding heart liberal. I get that, but I'm linking an interview where Davis explains how he's convinced so many Klan members into leaving the Klan.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2021/06/26/opinion/racism-politics-daryl-davis.html?action=click&module=Opinion&pgtype=Home page


    I’ve wondered about persuasion strategies, too, because I have friends who have their pro-Trump or anti-vaccine biases validated every evening by Tucker Carlson. So I reached out to an expert at changing minds.

    Daryl Davis, 63, is a Black musician with an unusual calling: He hangs out with Ku Klux Klan members and neo-Nazis and chips away at their racism. He has evidence of great success: a collection of K.K.K. robes and hoods given him by people whom he persuaded to abandon the Klan.

    His odyssey arose from curiosity about racism, including about an attack he suffered. When Davis was 10 years old, he says, a group of white people hurled bottles, soda cans and rocks at him.

    I think other posters should be able to read the entire article, but I'll post some quotes from it just in case.

    Davis began to work on answers after he graduated from Howard University and joined a band that sometimes played in a Maryland bar that attracted white racists. Davis struck up a friendship with a K.K.K. member, each fascinated by the other, and the man eventually left the K.K.K., Davis said.

    One of Davis’s methods — and there’s research from social psychology to confirm the effectiveness of this approach — is not to confront antagonists and denounce their bigotry but rather to start in listening mode. Once people feel they are being listened to, he says, it is easier to plant a seed of doubt.

    Davis claims to have persuaded some 200 white supremacists to leave the Klan and other extremist groups. It’s impossible to confirm that number, but his work has been well documented for decades in articles, videos, books and a TED Talk. He also has a podcast called “Changing Minds With Daryl Davis.”

    “Daryl saved my life,” said Scott Shepherd, a former grand dragon of the K.K.K. “Daryl extended his hand and actually just extended his heart, too, and we became brothers.” Shepherd ended up leaving the Klan and gave his robes to Davis.

    Davis’s approach seems out of step with modern sensibilities. Today the more common impulse is to decry from a distance.
    Anyway, since Davis has been so successful in gently convincing Klan members to leave the Klan and give him their old Klan paraphernalia, maybe the best or only way of convincing those with extreme/hateful ideologies to consider change, is by listening to them, and then giving them some positive reasons to change.

    I've never tried this, and I only have one friend who is a Fox News addict, who voted for Trump. We've just never discussed politics or religion. I don't think she wants to. Has anyone here tried the methods that Davis has used to try and convince a friend or family member that they are going in the wrong direction? Did it work? Would you feel comfortable doing what Davis did? I think the only way to heal division is to listen to the other person and avoid judging that person harshly. I'm not claiming this always works, but it must be better than yelling in their faces or telling them they are nuts etc.

    If the following quote is true, maybe there is hope.

    “Daryl Davis demonstrates that talking face-to-face with your ideological opponents can motivate them to rethink their views,” said Adam Grant, an organizational psychologist at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. “He’s an extraordinary example of what psychologists have repeatedly shown with evidence: In over 500 studies, interacting face-to-face with an out-group reduced prejudice 94 percent of the time.

    So, who wants to try and convince MTG that she needs to rethink her ideology? Would it be possible for AOC and MTG to ever compromise while they serve time in Congress? Okay. I'm kidding about that one, but if Davis could convince many Klan leaders to give up the Klan, maybe anything is possible when people sit down and try to understand each other, that is assuming the person isn't suffering from a mental illness or brain disorder like I prefer to call it.

  8. Top | #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by southernhybrid View Post
    I was going to start a new thread, but decided that what I was considering might fit in with this older thread. One thing I'm pretty sure of is that we don't change minds by attacking each other. Sadly, social media allows us to do too much of that, imo.

    Some of you might have heard of the Black guy who convinced a very large number of former members of the KKK to leave the Klan and start seeing Black people in a positive way. I guess if KKK members can be persuaded to leave the Klan, perhaps we can convince right wing extremists to consider some of their positions are harmful to them and to others.


    it's common to feel that a right win conservative or a racist isn't going to listen to a bleeding heart liberal. I get that, but I'm linking an interview where Davis explains how he's convinced so many Klan members into leaving the Klan.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2021/06/26/opinion/racism-politics-daryl-davis.html?action=click&module=Opinion&pgtype=Home page





    I think other posters should be able to read the entire article, but I'll post some quotes from it just in case.




    Davis claims to have persuaded some 200 white supremacists to leave the Klan and other extremist groups. It’s impossible to confirm that number, but his work has been well documented for decades in articles, videos, books and a TED Talk. He also has a podcast called “Changing Minds With Daryl Davis.”

    “Daryl saved my life,” said Scott Shepherd, a former grand dragon of the K.K.K. “Daryl extended his hand and actually just extended his heart, too, and we became brothers.” Shepherd ended up leaving the Klan and gave his robes to Davis.

    Davis’s approach seems out of step with modern sensibilities. Today the more common impulse is to decry from a distance.
    Anyway, since Davis has been so successful in gently convincing Klan members to leave the Klan and give him their old Klan paraphernalia, maybe the best or only way of convincing those with extreme/hateful ideologies to consider change, is by listening to them, and then giving them some positive reasons to change.

    I've never tried this, and I only have one friend who is a Fox News addict, who voted for Trump. We've just never discussed politics or religion. I don't think she wants to. Has anyone here tried the methods that Davis has used to try and convince a friend or family member that they are going in the wrong direction? Did it work? Would you feel comfortable doing what Davis did? I think the only way to heal division is to listen to the other person and avoid judging that person harshly. I'm not claiming this always works, but it must be better than yelling in their faces or telling them they are nuts etc.

    If the following quote is true, maybe there is hope.

    “Daryl Davis demonstrates that talking face-to-face with your ideological opponents can motivate them to rethink their views,” said Adam Grant, an organizational psychologist at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. “He’s an extraordinary example of what psychologists have repeatedly shown with evidence: In over 500 studies, interacting face-to-face with an out-group reduced prejudice 94 percent of the time.

    So, who wants to try and convince MTG that she needs to rethink her ideology? Would it be possible for AOC and MTG to ever compromise while they serve time in Congress? Okay. I'm kidding about that one, but if Davis could convince many Klan leaders to give up the Klan, maybe anything is possible when people sit down and try to understand each other, that is assuming the person isn't suffering from a mental illness or brain disorder like I prefer to call it.
    I'm with you on this and it sounds part and parcel to some of the arguments you've made in the past about free will.

    For the most part if our beliefs are already working for us there is no incentive to change or re-think what we believe. When people attack our beliefs we get defensive because it challenges our self interest. But when we're given the opportunity for respectful self reflection we're more likely to learn something new.

    There is a term in software development called 'rubber duck debugging' where you talk about a problem with an inanimate object and the solution ends up revealing itself. It's the same idea - an opportunity to actually pause and reflect. How often does almost anyone do that?

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