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How To Win In Any Argument (Even During Holidays)
#1
[Image: screen%20shot%202015-05-18%20at%2010.39.38%20am.png]

Over the holidays it’s best to avoid any arguments, whenever possible. But if you can’t, you may want to bring some scientific ammunition for your side of the discussion.

It turns out that if you want to convince someone that your explanation for something is the best way to explain it, you might want to tack on some useless (though accurate) information from a tangentially related scientific field.

http://www.businessinsider.sg/how-to-con...ng-2016-12
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#2
It turns out that when you tack on additional information from a respected field of study, people think that makes an explanation more credible.

That strategy can be devised from the findings of a recent study conducted by University of Pennsylvania researchers that was published in the journal Cognition.
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#3
And while this is a new finding, it’s just one of several cognitive biases we have in favor of certain types of explanations. We think longer explanations are better than short ones and we prefer explanations that point to a goal or a reason for things happening, even if these things don’t actually help us understand a phenomenon.
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#4
As the authors behind this most recent paper note, previous research has also shown that we prefer explanations of psychology when they contain “logically irrelevant neuroscience information,” something known as the “seductive lure effect.”
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#5
As former Tech Insider correspondent Drake Baer put it covering an earlier study on the same topic, “if you’re trying to explain why someone did something, you can count on neurobabble to make you sound more convincing.” All those references to the brain sound like they can really explain the ways our minds work, even if neuroscience is still a field we know little about.
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#6
[Image: wedeen1hr.jpg]

Explanations that refer to what’s going in in the brain are super appealing.
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#7
But until now, researchers haven’t known if this argument-winning strategy was limited to using neuroscience to “explain” psychology or if it could be used to explain other areas of science as well. The UPenn team theorized people might in general prefer arguments that refer to more fundamental science, even if those references don’t contribute to the explanation. They call this type of argument a reductive explanation (reducing one science to more fundamental parts).
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#8
To test this theory, the researchers created a hierarchy of sciences, going from least to most fundamental: social science, psychology, neuroscience, biology, chemistry, and finally physics. They recruited undergraduate students and people from Amazon’s Mechanical Turk work marketplace and presented them with a survey designed to figure out whether useless reductive information made them consider explanations “better.”
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#9
In each case, the researchers offered four possible explanations for a scientific concept: a good explanation, a good explanation that included the additional reductive information, a bad explanation, and a bad explanation that included reductive information.
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#10
[Image: rtx28n6d.jpg]

Should we add “used useless reductive information to support an argument” to debate bingo?
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