Using moral arguments to change opinions with Andy Luttrell (Bonus Track)

Andy Luttrell’s research focuses on moral psychology and the way human beings can be persuaded to change our positions on moral issues. The concept of this line of research focuses on if we make our arguments moral arguments, or even “merely labeling an attitude as moral” increases the strength of that argument.  As we discussed in the show, this has many implications for how we communicate behavioral change messages, particularly ones that can have a moral underpinning.

We were particularly interested in hearing about how people who have based their positions on really careful analysis tend to be the ones who open enough to be persuaded when new data offers new insight. The concept is that they based their belief on data and not intuition, thus, new data is more likely to impact how they perceive the position that they hold.

So our willingness to be open to a fresh idea is in part based on how strong or weak the arguments were in coming to our own conclusions. The research indicates that people with weak arguments are harder to persuade to new ideas. In one of Andy’s papers, he states, “Across these longitudinal studies examining different attitude objects, greater certainty was associated with greater stability across different time points as ambivalence decreased, and greater ambivalence was associated with greater instability as attitude certainty increased”

We also want to remind you that Andy’s podcast called Opinion Science is one of our favorite podcasts – period. We highly recommend it.

Groove Idea of the Week:

For your groove idea for the week, we’d like you to consider Andy’s discussion about the replication crisis. He indicated that researchers are rarely rewarded for publishing papers that support an already-existing theory. In other words, questioning the status quo is a good thing.

So this week, I’d like you to take a look around your work and ask yourself, what are you doing to move away from the status quo? What have you questioned or tested or asked why are we still using this process from 2015? Or why are sales calculated that way? Or why are our target customers who they are and not something else?

As always, drop us a line and let us know what you think!

And for now, we hope you get out there, have a great week, and keep on grooving.