How To Change A Mind

Iowa Climate Science Education

By Paul Homewood



How to change a mind.

I have always found it difficult to answer the question from advocates of the dangers of anthropogenic climate change that “do you think there is a vast conspiracy of scientists lying to us about climate change?” I found the beginning of an answer in a book called Rebel Ideas, the power of diverse thinking by Matthew Syed. It helped me to understand the dynamics of groupthink.

“Homogenous groups don’t just underperform, they do so in predictable ways. When you are surrounded by similar people, you are not just likely to share each other’s blind spots, but to reinforce them. This is sometimes called “mirroring”. Encircled by people who reflect your picture of reality, and whose picture you reflect back to them, it is easy to become ever more confident of judgements that are incomplete or downright wrong. Certainty becomes inversely…

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