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Emotional Health: Use Visual Aids to Change Stubborn Minds
Source: ABC News Radio

Wavebreak Media/Thinkstock

(HANOVER, N.H.) -- A picture may tell a thousand words but nothing beats a visual chart to get someone to change their mind during an argument, especially if they’re ill-informed on a subject.

Dartmouth University cognitive researchers say these charts resonate more with people than the spoken or written word because they reflect our “native language.”

Specifically, the researchers wanted to learn what it would take to change someone’s political views when they had their facts wrong.

Presenting arguments both verbally and in writing didn’t seem to work because people just countered them with their long-held beliefs, no matter how inaccurate they were.

However, when presented with facts in the form of a chart, participants were more apt to accept the information, so long as their sense of self wasn’t threatened.

In order to reduce that likelihood, the Dartmouth researchers tried to affirm the participants’ self-worth, which also seemed to clear up misperceptions even when there wasn’t any new data provided.

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Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


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