This is Episode Three of PsychCrunch, the new podcast from the British Psychological Society's Research Digest. In this episode we explore whether psychology can help you to win an argument.
After our presenter Christian Jarrett tries his luck with an argument about Michael Jackson's legacy, we find out why convincing people of your point of view is so difficult, and we hear about a paradoxical technique that's encouraging people to change their own minds about one of the most serious arguments in the world – the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. We'll also touch on why neurobabble appears to be so convincing.
Our guests are Dr Jon Sutton (Editor, The Psychologist); Dr Tom Stafford (University of Sheffield); Boaz Hameiri (Tel Aviv University); and Sara Hodges (University of Oregon).
Some of the research discussed by our guests has been covered previously on the Research Digest blog, including how superfluous neuroscience can be so persuasive, and other relevant research is in our archive. Boaz Hameiri's research on the paradoxical thinking intervention was published last year in PNAS. Tom Stafford's ebook is available on Amazon: For argument's sake: evidence that reason can change minds. Further reading from The Psychologist magazine: The truth is out there–a look at belief in conspiracy theories; Are conspiracy theories just harmless fun?; Looking back: Every believer is also a disbeliever; Falling on deaf ears–when people believe psychology is not science.
Episode credits: Presenter/editor Dr Christian Jarrett. Producer Dr Lorna Stewart. Music and mixing Dr Catherine Loveday and Jeff Knowler. Art work Tim Grimshaw.