2012-03-09 10:55:50Interactive mythbusting in Lane Cove


John Cook - To expand a bit on my (small) contribution to this thread:

It's very important to give folks psychological 'wiggle room'. Asking "Has anyone changed their mind" (and yes, I know Rebecca asked, not you) is aggressively challenging folks to admit that they were wrong. You won't get anything but an emotional "No" in response.

As a personal view, I find that while I disagree with (and may even mock) peoples opinions on various topics, I find I must respect their reasons for holding those opinions. And if I treat those reasons with respect, I get a much more useful interaction with them.

Asking "Have you heard anything new, anything interesting" provides the audience with the chance to interact with the data, to demonstrate (both for themselves and you) that they are considering new information - without challenging previous beliefs directly. It's much more palatable to say "That was interesting, I hadn't heard that, here's what I think given the new info" than "You've shown me that I'm wrong". Much easier to state that upon consideration of new data that a new opinion is possible than to flatly state that they were idiots for previous opinions - complimentary to themselves, and an avenue that allows reconsideration with self-respect.


Personal opinion - vetted through many discussions (the ol' BA in Philosophy..)

2012-03-09 16:18:03"Secret" polling


You could also poll people before and after such an event not by a "public" show of hands but instead provide a board and sticky points where they could show their stance on eg. a grid with four squares and two axis. People could put the point on the board without others watching if it's put into a corner and turned away from the room. The horizontal axis could be "I think global warming is a ..... "Small - medium - large" problem" and the vertical axis could be "I think we should do .... nothing - a bit - a lot ... about it". With enough people participating and by using different colors for the before and after poll you might be able to discern a shift in position from eg. somewhere in the middle (medium/a bit) to more in the upper right quadrant (large/a lot).

Obviously the naming of the axis is crucial!