How can you get others to convince *themselves* that you are right?


The always-excellent PsyBlog reveals the secret:

…you can try asking them to put aside their own attitude for a moment and try getting them to generate their own arguments for the point you want to make.

Why might this work?

…on average, people were more convinced by the talk when they gave it themselves than when they merely heard it passively. This suggests that we really are persuaded more strongly when we make the argument ourselves, even if it isn’t in line with our own viewpoint.

The same trick works with attitudes to smoking. People are more put off smoking when they deliver an anti-smoking message than when they passively receive it (research described in Brinol et al., 2012)… The explanation seems to be that we are very good at convincing ourselves because we know just what sorts of arguments will sway us.

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