Deeper down the rabbit hole: Was that my final answer?

http://www.spring.org.uk/2007/12/our-secret-attitude-changes.php

Advertisements
12 comments
  1. madhuri said:

    Good experiment. But, i agree with Don Berg’s comment. i think the change in high schoolers’ position is because of three reasons:
    a) They are young, do not have well-formed opinions, and the topic is not close to their heart.
    b) They would rather fit into social circle by agreeing with the way herd goes. Aka, buy Justin Timberlake CD because everyone else in the class listens to him.
    c) They got into the discussion not being aware of the seed amongst them. So, there was no perceived threat to the stance they took on the issue before they got into the discussion.

    i suspect the same seeding experiment will fail if a bunch of 60 year old Indians, like our parents, are in a room, and a seed tries to sway their opinion about existence of god.

    • unawoken said:

      Madhuri,
      “i suspect the same seeding experiment will fail if a bunch of 60 year old Indians, like our parents, are in a room, and a seed tries to sway their opinion about existence of god.”

      The experiment is not about changing opinions or not, hence your example above is not correct. The experiment is to study what one remembers about their earlier position after one actually changes one’s mind. In your example, the said parents may not actually change their hardened mind compared to the high-schoolers, but that is not the point. We ought to find a topic on which they indeed change their mind, and then test if they remember changing their mind.

  2. madhuri said:

    ah ok, understood. i digressed from the main topic i guess.

  3. Nishi said:

    Very interesting observation of how one doesnot remember ones stand on several things, over a span of time. I particularly believe that humans easily get influenced with a lot of things that surround them every moment, the absorption degree of the influence depends on how strong the environment is and how much the human wants to or unknowingly absorbs. This influence can be over a period of time or in a matter of secs/mins and can heavily can ones opinion about several things unknowingly, its almost like when we start talking or doing things like someone else not remembering that we didnt do that before or did it differently before.

    • unawoken said:

      Nishi, I think this experiments sheds more light on human memory than it does on human psychology. I suspect that we only retain those memories that suit our current beliefs in order to be computationally efficient – which does make it relevant to psychology of course…

  4. Memory plays an interesting role in the experiment. Recall that the control group had no problems remembering their positions, while the manipulated groups did.

    I think there is some ambiguity in the experiment here in regards to that – i.e. subjects that changed their minds had to admit that their previous position was “wrong”, which is harder to do than simply saying “I don’t recall…”

    My memory has become so bad that I have made it a habit of not stating definitive statements. I say “I don’t think I have ever been to Burkina Faso”, even though I know I have never been there and its something that I would not likely forget!

    • unawoken said:

      shreesh, agree with all of what you said…

  5. gn said:

    “only retain those memories that suit our current beliefs in order to be computationally efficient ”

    this would be true if you believe when the study group says ” don’t recall” and it is hard (? impossible) to prove that they do remember….
    {on the other hand if one says ” i recall” the burden of proof is on that person}

    So wouldn’t
    “Only discose those memories….” be more appropriate?

    • unawoken said:

      It is more than “only disclose those memories”. They claim to remember to have actually held their new position before they arrived at the current situation. In other words, they do not think they changed their mind

  6. Lakshmi said:

    Good find! Agree with Shreesh’s comments. I do think, however, that what Madhuri said makes sense. If you change your mind about something significant in your adult life, I think you would be able to recall it. Hopefully, they’ll have some more research on this topic as it has lots of implications for marketing ideas.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: