The Secret to Winning an Argument Is Ridiculously Simple

If you want to change someone’s opinion, ask them how they would do something instead of why.

The insight comes from University of Colorado psychologist Philip M. Fernbach in a paper with the telling title Political Extremism Is Supported by an Illusion of Understanding.”

His theory: Political extremists might be a touch less extreme if they had to explain just how their favored policy would create the changes they sought, as opposed to listing off the reasons that they’re right. 

For the experiment, Fernbach asked two groups of online participants to give their opinions on a variety of controversial and complex policy issues, such as healthcare and Iran.

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