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On Narrative Persuasion
Synthesis of my remarks at @ISGPtweets #scipolicy debate Aug 2015
LizNeeley 10 Aug 15
(1/26) Summary of remarks I made today at "Training in Narrative Persuasion for Ethical, Effective Communication"
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LizNeeley 10 Aug 15
Replying to @JoelAchenbach
(2/26) My most profound experience: convincing my dad climate change exists. Incl in 's story
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LizNeeley 10 Aug 15
Replying to @LizNeeley
(3/26) I find "War on Science" rhetoric deeply problematic, but do understand feeling under attack.
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LizNeeley 10 Aug 15
Replying to @LizNeeley
(4/26) Once, at a wedding rehearsal dinner, my partner hissed "I had you pegged as a vegetarian the second you walked in"
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LizNeeley 10 Aug 15
Replying to @LizNeeley
(5/26) He had me pegged correctly: liberal, vegetarian - and he wanted to fight about climate and evolution.
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LizNeeley 10 Aug 15
Replying to @LizNeeley
(6/26) I was taken aback. Did not have data & citations I'd like to have had at ready, so I talked about WHY I hold the beliefs I do
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LizNeeley 10 Aug 15
Replying to @LizNeeley
(7/26) By end of night, he said two things I'll never forget: 1) "Still thinking on evolution, but I think you've got me on climate"
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LizNeeley 10 Aug 15
Replying to @LizNeeley
(8/26) and 2) "No one has ever talked to me about this stuff before without yelling at me & telling me I'm stupid" I'll never forget that
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LizNeeley 10 Aug 15
Replying to @LizNeeley
(9/26) When I hear people lament "science illiteracy" I think of that guy (active duty Marine) & I think of my dad. Helps me stay grounded
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LizNeeley 10 Aug 15
Replying to @LizNeeley
(10/26) We agree on this as current reality: world is changing fast, w dire(?) consequences. Science is powerful way to make testable claims
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LizNeeley 10 Aug 15
Replying to @LizNeeley
(11/26) Stakes are too high to cede debates to those who ignore empirical fact, so is essential. But often poorly defined.
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LizNeeley 10 Aug 15
Replying to @LizNeeley
(12/26) One of most important elements is teasing out goals. To defend science? To educate? to inspire? My focus in this talk was persuasion
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LizNeeley 10 Aug 15
Replying to @LizNeeley
(13/26) I am convinced learning about storytelling & narrative persuasion best way to help scientists engage in ethical, effective
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LizNeeley 10 Aug 15
Replying to @LizNeeley
(14/26) Defining my terms b/c I know this is fraught: 1) narrative persuasion = use of stories to influence beliefs/behaviors in real life
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LizNeeley 10 Aug 15
Replying to @LizNeeley
(15/26) Defining my terms: 2) persuasion = "intentional & successful attempt to change someone's attitudes/behavior of their own free will"
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LizNeeley 10 Aug 15
Replying to @LizNeeley
(16/26) Defining my terms: 3) stories = "characters + causality" People faced w/ problem(s) take action, experience change
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LizNeeley 10 Aug 15
Replying to @LizNeeley
(17/26) Stories allow us to engage in "perspective taking" - to identify with characters, explore their motivations, actions, consequences
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LizNeeley 10 Aug 15
Replying to @LizNeeley
(18/26) In science, connotation of storytelling: speculating or handwaving, lacking data or rigor. Connotation of persuasion: "manipulation"
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LizNeeley 10 Aug 15
Replying to @LizNeeley
(19/26) Problem: gut instinct & existing norms about within science communities can lead us astray. See eg
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LizNeeley 10 Aug 15
(20/26) For more on entrenchment, boomerang effects, other , read scholars like @MCNisbet
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