Listening, respecting and avoiding name-calling open up political dialogue

September 2017

To convince someone with a differing opinion of your point of view, it's wise to distinguish between your view of the person and your view of their opinion. Indicating that you believe the person as worthy of debate opens up the dialogue, says Peter Ditto, professor of psychology and social behavior.

What shuts people down? Name-calling, point-scoring and direct antagonism, which put people on the defensive.

"When people have their self-worth validated in some way, they tend to be more receptive to information that challenges their beliefs," Ditto told Maclean's Magazine.

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