So what kind of thinking/thought patterns is it good to avoid in order to be effective in coming up with sound political arguments and explanations? We have an incredible opportunity to explore a new kind of politics. We are living in a climate of political polarisation, where opponents are each engaging in simplistic, black and white, self-righteous thinking and sloganeering. We may all agree that right now there needs to be a coming together to realign our political notions of Left and Right. Perception testing is simple. If political beliefs and ideas are worth their salt, don’t they deserve to be able to be advocated with the best chance possible of persuading others that they are the right way to go! Identify Mental Filters and Prejudices. It is about being able to put yourself in other people’s shoes and imagining why they think what they think. It’s about the creation and telling of good stories. In times of uncertainty, tragedy and shock, as a nation we are more likely to openly demonstrate our emotional reactions than we did in the past. Anything more realistic is either dismissed, or we make feeble excuses for not taking in evidence that doesn’t conform to our predjudices. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Human well being should inform our proposed political solutions, especially when we are exploring the emergence of terms within new political conversations. The art of persuasion has been central to politics since humanity first began to organise itself into communities. It is well worth checking or researching if your conclusion is true or not, or your opponents can knock you out in the first round. We need your consent to load this rte-player contentWe use rte-player to manage extra content that can set cookies on your device and collect data about your activity. And equally we need to stop labelling anyone who challenges us to become more robust and resilient, or questions our explanations as to why things are as they are, as being akin to Hitler. We create goodies and baddies, and no-one in between. Some people find it easier than others. The most humane approach would be to get a balance between accommodating vulnerability, whilst not allowing that accommodation to undermine important public values. If we don’t consciously use empathy, we descend into cruelty. Emotionally reactive and defensive thought patterns often occur just before and during distressing situations, when we feel we have lost control. Political persuasion (and manipulation) is an art, but also a science. It occurred with the advent of the printing press and newspapers and later again with the emergence of radio and television and has now happened again with the arrival of social media. Proclaiming that unless we do as they want, everything will be catastrophic. RTÉ.ie is the website of Raidió Teilifís Éireann, Ireland's National Public Service Media. Is there another, more charitable way of looking at how they see things? But beyond the hysteria of a commentariat desperately looking for explanations of phenomena that they don’t understand, the question remains – how susceptible are we to these tactics? This does not mean putting ourselves down, but it does mean avoiding automatically blaming others for events or situations that may be partially our responsibility, especially if we tend to rely on hearsay. Winning is more important to them than how they win, and as long as they can get away with what they are doing, they feel vindicated. It proceeds by comparing and contrasting ‘persuasion’ with concepts within the ‘power’ family. The central path requires extensive audience engagement over a period of time, in which the persuader is required to convince the audience logically of the merits of their position. Essentially it comes down to a choice between an ugly fight or a noble fight. 2 a of, involved in, or relating to government policy-making as distinguished from administration or law b of or relating to the civil aspects of government as distinguished from the military Our attitudes are a product of our thought processes. Arguably, they can never really enjoy the ‘Glory of the Victory.’ Their arguments  are eventually seen through as not being robust, their proponents are not trusted and despised, and it is only a matter of time until they are faced with a humiliating defeat along side an increased array of enemies.. If we want nuanced political thinking, we first have to question extremist attitudes. Concerns around fake news, the ability of stories to go viral to reach huge audiences without being subject to fact-checking and the emergence of companies with expertise in social media targeting and manipulation, such as Cambridge Analytica, have come to dominate headlines. When our predictions are totally wrong (think political polls,) we are plunged into a state of shock. Remember it’s the Noble Victors of any battle, whether it be an actual war or an intellectual and ideological war, that are the ones that are historically revered. 7. Even political movements or policies that are similar to those of previous generations, are ujustly described as a reminder of the past. We also need to arm ourselves with the best weapons to identify unhelpful ways of thinking. It takes practice in much the same way as mastering any Art. In the aftermath of the Brexit Vote, the Trump Vote, and the UK 2019 majority Conservative election, we are seeing a seismic political change. In the 1980s, Richard Petty and colleagues developed the Elaboration Likelihood Model (ELM). We need the courage not just to persuade others to our arguments, but also to possibly change our world views. It is not only done by people we disagree with. Blackwell says the findings offer the first formal theory of political attitude change framed within the context of cognitive dissonance, one that could offer new understanding across a range of political behaviors and help answer questions like what causes political partisanship, what drives ethnic and racial animosity, and how empathy with key social ties is so effective in shifting a person’s political views. The process is similar to the two "modes of thought" described by Daniel Kahneman in his bestselling book Thinking, Fast and Slow: we can process things quickly and instinctively, or slowly and more deliberately. People who closely identify with a particular political party or movement may approve of a particular policy not because they have considered it logically but simply because the group they support has approved of it. Those people emerge at times of political unrest and social uncertainty and inspire us in different ways. The ability of, “knowing thyself “ is at the heart of enlightened political philosophy, starting from the Greek classical tradition. The other is a shorter route, which relies on finding short cuts to the point where the audience adopts the desired position ("pizza is tasty so let’s order pizza tonight"). While many of these stories strained credulity and would have been quickly been debunked if the audience processed them systematically, the authors guessed that all that was needed was for some users (who may have been more prone to believing these stories due to existing biases) to share them through their own profiles. In being cruel, we cannot engage effectively with our adversaries. In response those self identified victims  are seen as weak and pathetic, trying to undermine free speech by wanting to silence everything they find offensive. With some effort, we may be able to train our peripheral and heuristic processes to quickly dump unreliable news and sources rather than accept them uncritically. Words have power Copyright: convisum / 123RF Stock Photo. Politically, this might look more like electoral rhetoric. And since anyone can ramble about the “art” part, we are going to focus on the science of political persuasion. “There’s a whole host of things going on in social psychology, psychology, and behavioral economics about how humans act and how preferences are formed” that can shed more light on “why politics is the way it is,” said Matthew Blackwell, an assistant professor of government in the Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) who co-authored the paper with Maya Sen, an assistant professor of public policy at Harvard Kennedy School (HKS), and Avidit Acharya, an assistant professor of political science at Stanford. Please review their details and accept them to load the content. That cannot happen if we alienate particular sides of the debate. Reverting back to the past, as proof that their opponent’s strategies will not work and should be rejected. An interesting deployment of the heuristic approach in the social media age is discussed by Kathleen Jamieson Hall in her account of targeted online advertising during the 2016 US presidential election. Now, political scientists at Harvard and Stanford universities, drawing from longstanding social psychology research, have concluded that a person’s political attitudes are actually a consequence of the actions he or she has taken — and not their cause. Applying mental filters to their world views and offering explanations as substitutes for arguments. from the UK’s vote to leave the European Union, the election of Donald Trump as president of the United States, the discussions at the Citizens’ Assembly, the infamous Daisy advertisement from the 1964 US presidential election, her account of targeted online advertising during the 2016 US presidential election.