Causes of being convinced
- Definitive. They say things with conviction so their information must be true.
- Uncertainty. We don’t really know, so “experts” can determine what we think.
- Guaranteed. For example: This diet is guaranteed to lower weight; or lower fondness for sweets, saltiness, or chewiness; or lower desire for too-much a a favorite security meal; or decrease bloating and effects of aging; or other desired outcomes.
- Power. Power builds influence when influence is desired. The force of the influence and the force of the influenced can create ideas that are convincing and are adopted.
Parts of convincing-ness
Convincing-ness requires two parts: willingness and motivation. Those who convince must have motivation (monetary incentives, desire for power, desire for betterment of society or of the environment or of others) and willingness to risk.
When the information being presented is untrue, those who agree to believe the information presented to them must be willing to overlook innate feelings of truth and must be motivated to forego self-censorship. When the information being presented is truthful, it still requires convincing others to believe it and they must be willing and motivated to digest and reuse the information.
Ways in which we are convinced
- Something appears in print and we’re convinced.
- We hear a factoid and we think it’s true.
- A well-known personality endorses a product and we think it’s worth buying.
- Fascinating speakers convince us that they speak accurately or that they speak for us or that they speak wisely or that they can lead us towards salvation.
- The truth is difficult so we let ourselves be convinced that it is not so.
Today’s world is too complex for each person to learn all one can know about the happenings close and far and to know about all the available choices and technologies. Experts are helpful for deciphering the complexities, but most are giving educated opinions, and that fact must be remembered.
Before latching on to the latest study results or pronouncement by a well-known personality, check the motivation of the source and let the information hover close, but not too close, while you decide whether or not it meets your inner sense of truthfulness.