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How To Keep Friends And Influence Yourself

Two election watchers argue as they wait for returns to roll in.
Michael Reaves/Getty Images
Two election watchers argue as they wait for returns to roll in.

Can facts change beliefs?

Research is still being done on the topic. But, the fact that it’s unclear if that’s the case says a lot about how firmly held our opinions can be. If an army of fact-checkers can’t move a mind, what can?

This summer, New York Times columnist David Leonhardt asked his readers to choose an issue and really grapple with it. He pushed them to do the research and see if maybe any seeds of doubt on a subject could sprout.

And now, we issue Leonhardt’s challenge to you: dive into one of your closely held beliefs, then see what happens. Will your views evolve? Or will you walk away with more fodder to try to change others’ minds?

If you want to take up the challenge and think through one of your opinions, text us.

Text the word think to 63735. We’ll ask you about your topic, then check in with you with links, research and encouragement.

Standard message rates may apply. You can text stop any time to opt out.


David Leonhardt, Op-ed columnist, The New York Times; former editor, The Upshot; @DLeonhardt

Brendan Nyhan, Professor of political science, Dartmouth College; @BrendanNyhan

Emile Bruneau, Director, Peace and Conflict Neuroscience Lab, Annenberg School for Communications at the University of Pennsylvania

Kate Kendell, Executive director, National Center for Lesbian Rights; @katekendell

For more, visit http://the1a.org.

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