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Little Find

Dare confront people!

Do you fear you would be wasting your time trying to convince someone at the water cooler that no, the earth isn’t flat? There are two reasons why you should dare to confront them….

You could help a flat-earther, a climate denier, or an anti-vaxxer to change their mind. And, crucially, nothing could be worse than letting them spread their beliefs.

If confrontation seems inevitable, what are the most effective techniques you can use? One is to do with the topic of the argument, the other with the argumentation logic.

  • Attack the scientific mistakes in what they are saying and offer information that restores the truth: “Vaccines are an effective means of avoiding certain illnesses.”
  • Identify the shape the argument is taking and demonstrate, for example, that the other person’s expectations aren’t realistic: it is unreasonable to expect a vaccine to be 100% safe, and that should not mean you reject all vaccines completely.

Feel free to combine these two approaches; they will work even better if you do.
Lastly, an online game enables you to put yourself in a skeptic’s shoes and familiarize yourself with six strategies often used by those spreading “fake news”. These include discrediting the other person and polarizing the debate. This way you will be armed and ready to spot such manipulative strategies.

To go further

Yes, it’s worth arguing with science deniers

by Laura Hazard Owen, (Nieman Lab, 28 June 2019.)

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Florence Meyer
Published by Florence Meyer
Executive coach, change management expert, and author. Constantly on the lookout for the latest management and leadership trends.