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Girish Bhamre

Govt of India

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When it comes to changing mindsets of people, how do you think it can best be done? what are your experiences in this regard?

What all factors are involved in changing mindsets of people? Is it more difficult to change mindset of adults as compared to that of children? Is there any influence of genetics on the kind of mindset an individual develops? To what extent external situations can change the mindset? and finally what are the best ways of bringing this change? Have you ever tried to change someones mindset? what are your experiences in this regard?

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  • Apr 7 2012: What an amazing question.

    Let me structure what is "changing mindset"

    It's changing some one's belief ( not just thoughts ). Mike has a belief that air-travel is dangerous. By a series of conversation, we can change mind-set. We can change his belief that air-travel are indeed safe.

    Adding more,
    It totally depends on how strong the belief is. If the belief is extremely strong, it's gonna be really difficult to change mindset. If a very strong belief is changed, it's called "Brainwashing"

    So the question is, is it really possible ?

    I believe yes. Let me propose a hypothesis, how a mind set can be changed, than will try to examine the same through questions you have posted.

    In a conversation with the subject, through a series of question, keep trying to uncover reasons behind it. And for every reason, give the subject opportunity to rationalize it. At a certain level, he/she will not be able to rationalize it. At that particular point, smartly put your opinion and explain why your opinion is correct. Even though subject will try to defend it, but it is his/her weak point, ( Identify the weakest point according to how articulate/smart you are - Weaker the point, easier for you ). If you are able to successfully convince him at that point, entire chain of belief will change and his/her mindset will be changed. Probably not immediately, but over a period when his subconscious mind will process all the information, his mind set will be changed.

    A critical analysis of above hypothesis is capable of answering all questions mentioned in the topic.

    Definitely another method also exist. But if the interaction mode is purely conversation, I believe this works.
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    Mar 16 2012: I think a big part of it is patience and the second part I believe is most important is exposing an individual of that mind-set, like you are trying to convince them that the internet has a vast expanse of information and you take them to a computer to show them first hand the many things they can use it for. It is much like a seeing eye dog leading their owner to the right paths, but at the end you hope for them to "see" or accept something. =)
    • Mar 17 2012: Here, let me show you! This is one of the best teaching concepts and methods of all time. What better way for parents to teach a child than, "Come with us and let us show you the better way". An old adage says seeing is believing. Experience is a better teacher than theory.

      If a person is stubborn, then what is it that is important to them to cause a strict position? And why is it important? Being patient as Derek says, is vital and giving opportunities to see something attractive and better is a gift to them.

      On the other hand if a mindset is strong for a good thing--a person is loyal to doing what is right, then that kind of mindset can be a good model for others. People learn from their heroes.

  • Apr 13 2012: interesting hypothesis.i guess it should work as long as you aren't hurting someone's ego.