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RS 206 - Kal Turnbull on "Change My View"

Release date: April 15th, 2018

Kal Turnbull

When people argue on the internet, you never expect anyone to actually say "You know what, that's a good point, you've changed my view somewhat." But Change My View, a fast-growing subreddit founded by Kal Turnbull, is an exception to the rule. Julia and Kal discuss the culture of Change My View, what makes it such an oasis for reasonable discussion on the Internet, and what we've learned about what motivates people to change their minds or not.

Kal's Website: Change My View

Kal's Pick: "The Righteous Mind" by Jonathan Haidt

Edited by Brent Silk

Music by Miracles of Modern Science


Full Transcripts 

Reader Comments (8)

Excellent talk by Kal Turnbull. Julia queries him well and he opens the door into the purpose of holding conversations in the first place -- on social platforms -- and then lists all the reasons it should not be argumentative. If it is, it should be constructive and never be hostile to anyone in the forum and never include derogatory words.
April 15, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterAmir
Really good interview. Perhaps "Change My View" will help people learn how to engage in argument with civility, and also with greater effectiveness.

Asking a lot of questions and understanding the position of your opponent / counterparty will indeed help you greatly in any dispute or negotiation.
April 15, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJameson
I wish you could've pushed a little harder on some of those questions. He really refused to give concrete examples of arguments that happen on the subreddit. It would have provided for more interesting content if he or someone he knew could have spoken about a specific case in which he changed his mind due to the subreddit.
April 17, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterChris Canal
Chris, just go to his website. The threads are so long it's probably not possible to explain one of them in a 45 minute RSPC interview.
April 19, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJameson
I like the idea and it's useful, but this was not one of the best podcasts (which usually is great). The interview sounded more like a technical manual on how to use the site, what are the rules, the reward badges, etc. but had very little insight into the psychology of opinion changing and persuasion. It wasn't Kal's fault as he is the creator of the site, not an expert, but perhaps a more useful interview would be with one of the researchers that did a study on the site.
April 21, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterDan
Somehow found this podcast, and what a treat. Agreed with @Amir, interviewing is exceptionally thoughtful and responsive in both directions: there are answers that answer, and questions that satisfyingly follow up on some answers. No coincidence the conversation is about a site exploring how to have conversations.

Like @Dan I wished for more on the psychology of opinion change, but I realize that's the apple pie prize. First you have to plant the orchard and keep the trees from killing each other. The researchers have a long hard job ahead.

A little disappointed how heavy-handed the moderation appears to be on Change My View. But if any project needs it this does. Perhaps oppression is the beginning but not the end.
April 25, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterBob Stein
Great ideas. Thanks for sharing. ^^
January 13, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterErnesto

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