Tuesday, September 18, 2012

"Breaking up the echo"

This is a very nice op-Ed in the NYT by Cass Sunstein about how people assimilate information contrary to their views. Mostly - they don't.

The news here is not encouraging. In the face of entrenched social divisions, there’s a risk that presentations that carefully explore both sides will be counterproductive. And when a group, responding to false information, becomes more strident, efforts to correct the record may make things worse.

Can anything be done? There is no simple term for the answer, so let’s make one up: surprising validators.

Such "validators" are people you would not expect to hold a contrary view, so you cannot immediately dismiss them. Small cues like appearance or food preferences or background can have a disproportionate effect in subverting expectations like this. The logic is "if someone like THAT says it, maybe I should rethink."


No comments:

Post a Comment