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Old 09-26-2008, 06:48 PM
jaoneal jaoneal is offline
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 10
Default Re: McCain bias effects

Okay, if my original thought experiment doesn't convince you a brief one-sided argument will only entrench resistance, try the following actual experiment.

Pick some random alternative to the Paulson plan (the actual issue here doesn't matter, but preferably it would be an issue people know a little about, but have no previously entrenched opinion on.) For example, the position that we should buy stock in the banks, or the position that we should simply give the money to distressed mortgage holders, etc.

Tell 20 people this is what we should do, give only a single brief argument in its favor that does not touch upon other alternatives, and (importantly, to make it symmetric to the case of the media) do not respond if people offer a counter-argument. Remain silent. Then poll the people to see if you convinced them.

I believe you will find a brief one-sided argument will fail to sway a majority and in fact will push people away from that point of view as your interlocutors will identify more with their own counter-arguments rather than your brief exposition.
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