Naturally, we at KGVM are strong believers in the power of the human voice to connect people. Support for that position comes from Nicholas Epley, a social psychologist at the University of Chicago, who has carried out studies showing that “it’s easy to make enemies of people we only read about.”
What we found was that you tended to dehumanize the other person more when you just read what they had to say … you create a more ambiguous medium of interaction and you tend to evaluate the other person in line with the views that you already have. You think they’re idiots. But as soon as you actually give them a voice—you can hear what they have to say—then we found that people didn’t dehumanize the other side at all. That is, they rated them as just as thoughtful, as intelligent, as a person on their own side who shared the same belief that they did.
In the 2-minute video below, Epley talks about understanding and change.
Read (and hear!) more at the Nautilus blog, Facts so Romantic.