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Discussions: Not losing is more important than fighting

Chance of Success predicts defense strategies








Regardless how laborious argueing might be: discussants take the offensive and defend their standpoints attacked when chances of success are big. If this not

then most of them refrain entirely from convincing anyone at the panel and are simply satisfied not to lose. The most popular defense strategies: to dodge to the hostile argument or to qualify one´s own standpoint („This is an exception to the rule“, „Finally that´s not so important“ ) and make it irrefutable („This is a matter of taste“).

These are the results of a study from Yale recently published online. Based on that the scientists conclude, professional argueing can be anticipated pretty well.

Counter-Argument Self-Efficacy Predicts Choice of Belief-Defense Strategies. Goldberg/Carmichael/Hardin, In. European Journal of Social Psychology., 2019.



From the practice:

The study is fine, but the key question must be: what do you have to take into account and how do you have to prepare in oder to take the offensive successfully?

  1. You should be highly motivated, otherwise your engagement will suffer. 2. You should know in advance with which facts and examples you want to defend your standpoint. Describe consternation and relevance. 3. You should anticipate the potential reactions of your interlocutors or co-discussants and ideally tackle them proactively. Don´t let anyone escape with flat arguments when it really is at stake. The audience in the livingrooms, in the event halls or at the pubs will notice that and won´t like it.

Conversely you know from now on: Who tries to qualify your standpoint or wants to make it irrefutable, feels inferior and has come to his/her end.



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