Today, I am very excited to introduce you to Dr. Andy Luttrell, a social psychologist who has (at least so far) devoted his career to understanding people’s opinions. You know I love a good question, and he is mostly curious about those opinions people hold onto really tightly and can’t seem to let go of. As he asks on his website, “Why do we hold some views that define us and others that we’re happy to change?”
Such an interesting topic, and I am excited to let you hear some of his findings on the science of opinions and how that ties in with persuasion in our conversation today.
- [00:06] In today’s episode I’m excited to introduce you to Dr. Andy Luttrell, professor and host of the Opinion Science Podcast.
- [03:15] Andy, a social psychologist, shares about himself and his background.
- [05:45] In some cultures, our view of ourselves is ever changing. Others are more fixed.
- [08:17] Your audience is going to have its own way that it prefers to navigate certain questions. The way you present yourself and your brand image, or the messages you communicate with ought to take that audience’s preference into account.
- [09:56] Oftentimes, we have to pick what works for our brand and just go with it.
- [10:41] If someone sees their stance as rooted in morality, they are often not going to budge.
- [11:18] If the message matches the kind of opinion the audience already has, it is going to go further.
- [12:49] When we are trying to talk about these moral issues, sometimes we feel like we want to retreat from talking about morals, but that is exactly the dimension that the audience cares about (and has proven to be more persuasive).
- [14:54] Are logical arguments the most persuasive or are emotional arguments the most persuasive? It depends on who you are talking to.
[15:56] Most people are not only logical or emotional people. It also depends on the context of what you are talking about.
- [17:20] There are all sorts of ways personality variables can come into play with the persuasion process.
- [18:34] Anyone has the potential to change their mind. Some personality variables can have to do with one's willingness to engage with certain ideas.
- [20:20] Some research shows that we can sell our products or ideas framed in terms of the personality traits that define you best and that is going to have more leverage.
- [21:34] The personality of the person you are trying to influence is going to determine which message is going to be most impactful.
- [23:29] If we are framing something in terms of a very political audience and the wrong person comes across it, that might actually tarnish the image or backfire. If you are working in a sensitive space, be aware.
- [25:45] We have this foundational understanding of persuasion that goes back to the 40’s.
- [26:07] Persuasion is at the heart of what we do every day. It doesn’t feel like we are trying to constantly influence the people around us, but we are talking about our opinions almost all the time.
- [27:06] There are always going to be some growing pains in the application process.
- [29:09] We can have good guesses but we don’t have specificity.
- [31:10] If you run the same simulation a dozen times it is not going to go exactly the same in each one. There is a bunch of stuff you can never really account for.
- [32:26] You run the risk of chasing things that are not relevant if you have too much to account for.
- [33:40] Persuasion is about changing your evaluation of something.
- [35:14] A strong opinion is one that people say they will not change and it will be the thing that guides the decisions they make.
- [37:22] One place confidence comes from is consensus. If we think most people hold the same opinion, we become confident in it (for better or worse).
- [39:46] Strength is an important part of the equation in getting people from one side to another.
- [40:19] One interesting way people have looked at persuasion is through self affirmation.
- [41:29] You are perfect with room for improvement.
- [43:27] Melina shares her closing thoughts.
[45:13] Melina’s award-winning first book, What Your Customer Wants and Can’t Tell You is available on Amazon, Bookshop, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, and Booktopia.
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