Psychological Resistance to Change

20 Sep

This article from Slate is very, very interesting. It makes me stop and think: Does a similar psychological filtering process explain why conservatives will rarely read my blog and even more rarely be convinced by my arguments if they do? And, to be fair, somewhere a more conservative blogger will ask the same question of liberals? In fact, this all suggests that even if my blog strives to strike a “fair and balanced” position–showcasing the work of those on both left and right (which I have done, albeit not always well)–the reader will assign more weight to the ideas that reinforce their own ideas, and ignore the ones that run counter to their own. So, that interesting article might also serve to teach me that changing anyone’s mind about anything health care related is largely a Sisyphean endeavor. Perhaps I should move to Boulder.


Posted by on September 20, 2010 in Uncategorized


4 responses to “Psychological Resistance to Change

  1. Jan Baer

    September 20, 2010 at 6:32 pm

    Ha! You happen to have caught me on a Bad Day – I'm particularly angry at my Republican state leadership (Indiana's Mitch Daniels) who privatized the state's Social and Family Services some time back and only last year canceled the contract with the huge corporation which had apparently been taking both state and federal money without delivering services.Since that time (and quite conveniently, I might add) the program has been lagging further and further behind since there is no "official" state agency to handle the many new applicants.And meanwhile, a very old and dear couple need Medicaid assistance. These people aren't deadbeats; they have worked hard all their lives and the husband still takes on small jobs at times, although he is nearly ninety.But our governor proudly announces that "Indiana's running in the black!"He's had his hand out for every stimulus dollar, even while mocking this administration. The conservative positions of late have not attracted my attention. They are not, actually, "positions" so much as "oppositions."After I post this, I'll look at Alan Katz. Perhaps….

  2. Jan Baer

    September 20, 2010 at 7:23 pm

    It's swell of Alan Katz to give Health and Human Services the heads-up on how insurers intend to foil the Affordable Care Act.I hope someone is forwarding it to them!

  3. Joel

    September 21, 2010 at 4:24 pm

    I have some unsolicited advice:When you start thinking of ideas and opinions as belonging to some sort of "ideological dipole", as being "opposition" or "support", as "conservative" or "liberal" in nature, then you've already started on fairly shaky ground. To construct persuasive arguments, you have to realize that while a team-based "us vs them" mentality might be comforting, it isn't the reality in which you are forced to make your case.What's funny to me is that both of these imaginary groups will tend to confuse fact with feeling when they are attempting to be persuasive. Each feels they have taken the logically defensible position, but in truth their motives and goals are deeply rooted in emotional beliefs. This is because we are human. When you feel you have made a strong argument for your position and do not receive roaring applause in response, resist the temptation to assume that it fell on deaf ears or that some sort of psychological filter prevented the message from being heard. Instead consider that "logic" could likely be used to both support or attack your idea and be honest about where you're coming from.For example, do you really believe that the material that you present on your blog is "fair and balanced"?

  4. Joel

    September 21, 2010 at 4:34 pm

    Oh, and on this topic: I read this blog frequently though it rarely reinforces my own ideas. I don't comment much, though. Why do you think that is?


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