It’s pointless debating with someone who’s got their mind set on certain beliefs…right? We’ve all been in a situation where, despite a clear presentation of all the facts, we just can’t change someone’s mindset. But perhaps we try to influence others in all the wrong ways. Neuroscientist Tali Sharot says using facts and figures is incompatible with how the brain works.
When someone disagrees with us what we tend to do is either stop listening or we’ve come up with reasons while they’re talking why they’re wrong and I’m right.
She says the brain encodes information differently depending on how we relate to the other person and that emotion plays a bigger role than reason. When trying to influence others she says the best first step is find common ground.
When two people make decisions together, when they disagree…. the brain really fails to encode the information coming from the disagreeing partner. But when two people agree, each person is very precisely encoding the information coming from the agreeing partner.
Her latest book, The Influential Mind, explores the many ways our brain receives information and why.
Listen here to Tali Sharot explain the core elements that govern the human brain.
About Our Guest:
Tali Sharot is the founder and director of the Affective Brain Lab at University College London, and author of The Optimism Bias: A Tour of the Irrationally Positive Brain, and The Influential Mind: What the Brain Reveals about Our Power to Change Others.