The Topic: Contact
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Can you change a person's mind on a divisive social issue? For instance, let's say you meet someone who is very opposed to same-sex marriage and has felt that way for years. In one conversation, could you flip his or her opinion in the other direction?
The latest science says…hold on to your socks…yes. But it will require two things: contact and disclosure.
In this episode you will about the contact hypothesis – a series of conditions required to reduce prejudice and change minds. Studied by sociologists, psychologists, and political scientists since the 1950s, the hypothesis has been incomplete – until now.
In the first half of the show you'll travel to Mississippi to meet professional mind changers working to shift attitudes on LGBT rights. You'll also visit the county where no one is gay and an anti-same sex marriage convention before hearing a former pastor explain how even Jesus once changed his mind.
Then, in the second half, you'll meet a man in Los Angeles who conducted 12,000 conversations in a quest to perfect the most powerful version of contact possible. According to the scientists who've studied his methods, he may have finally advanced the contact hypothesis – because the evidence suggests that in one, 22-minute chat, Dave Fleischer can change people's minds on issues they've felt strongly about for decades, and change them forever.
Sources in Order of Appearance