frustration / life / memory / mistakes / Why?

Your Mind Is Not Changing

HPIM2055

Some friends may think this is aimed at them. It isn’t. They may have inspired me, but that’s not the same thing.

When was the last time you changed your mind? I don’t mean you decided not to have your usual Monday breakfast.

I mean, you changed your mind about the death penalty, abortion, climate change, religion, or who to vote for. Those things. I don’t want to argue about any of them.

How certain are you about what you think?

I find that most people (and I’m sure I should be included in this) say that they will change their mind if the facts prove them wrong. They say they’re open to debate and new information. Aren’t you? I say that.

But then it seems that most people can explain away anything that doesn’t suit what they’ve already decided to believe. We ignore or belittle information that doesn’t confirm what we want. Like sticking with a partner who waves many red flags about how wrong for you he or she is, and yet you stay until the long miserable end, later wondering why you didn’t escape sooner. Why!? The flags were there.

Conspiracy theorists say they’ll believe evidence. Then they take any evidence you give them and twist it to match their theory.

I once worked with a woman who said, “There were only four people there.” I showed her a photograph of the seven people who were there. A photograph of seven people together at the same time in the same place. This woman insisted that there still had been only four people.

In spite of all we know about confirmation bias and tricks of the mind, I continue to hear people say, “But I don’t do that!”

Right. Okay.

Why do you think we have such trouble changing our minds? Do you? Or do you change your mind too often?

Should I change my mind about you?

8 thoughts on “Your Mind Is Not Changing

  1. I do change my mind – but not often. In 59 years I have been a fundamentalist Christian (sorry world!) and an atheist but I didn’t haver between the two and escaping fundamentalism took years. I now know that “what I know” isn’t as secure as I used to think.

    My views on gay relationships have changed partly as a result of the previous change, partly as I educated myself.

    I initially thought climate change was a scare story by the media and it took me a long time to see that the sources supporting it seemed to consist of serious scientists giving their best answers. I think we still might find that it’s more complex even than we now know.

    The death penalty? I can’t seem to change my mind on that one.

    So I think change is possible but fast change? Probably not.

    • I can say I’ve changed my mind about the death penalty. Otherwise, I’d say my views have broadened or my understanding of my views has deepened, but that haven’t changed. And you’re right. These changes usually take a time.

  2. I’d like to think I’m flexible enough to change my mind when the facts warrant it. I’m an agnostic and see no way of changing that short of death proving me wrong but on all else I’m open.My politics has changed since seeing how the party I thought were for the people proved to be for themselves like the other options, I know some climate change theories have been flawed but I prefer to err on the side of caution since future generations bear the brunt of our mistakes.I think we can only work on the facts presented, and if they change then we should be able to change with them.
    I can’t believe the silliness of the woman who wouldn’t believe your photographic proof, she can only have thought you tampered with it. That kind of inflexibility of thought gets Hitlers voted into power.
    xxx Hugs xxx

    • I hope I’m flexible enough to change as the facts change. And I too like to err on the side of caution.

      The woman I mentioned in the post was someone who lived in her own reality. She seemed to operate in this one, but then something would come up to directly contradict her view of things, and she would get very angry at anyone who pointed it out. People stopped disagreeing with her about anything.

  3. I think of myself as being very flexible. I have good judgement, always had, but give the benefit of the doubt when I feel wronged. But once I do make up my mind about something, I don’t usually go back on it, as I have considered all the angles at that stage.. But I don’t believe in certainty ~ that’s for the young.

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