Correcting Misinformation and Misconceptions
I’ve lost count of the number of videos we’ve produced over the years that have in large part been designed to help businesses dispel misconceptions amongst staff and customers. To be honest, I never even started counting those videos and if I led you to believe I’m the kind of person who would do that then I’m guilty of leaving you with a misconception. See how easy it is?
They Think What!?
We Love a Good Story
Our Brain's Shortcuts
The world is a complicated place and our brains have to process lots of information quickly. To cut down the workload we employ quick mental short cuts to help it decide what is and isn't important.
Psychologists call these Heuristics - simple, efficient rules which people often use to form judgments and make decisions. These mental shortcuts usually involve focusing on one aspect of a complex problem and ignoring others. When it comes to believing information our brains ask the following questions:
Does it feel right to me?
Does it make sense to me?
Is it coming from a credible source?
What do others think?
How to Change Minds
Okay, so some people have some potentially harmful misconceptions about your business. We’ve looked at some of the things that can cause misconceptions but what we really need to know is how to get rid of them.
Fortunately for us, in a research paper from 2012 Professor Stephen Lewandowsky and several colleagues looked at the nature of misinformation in society and how to correct the believes arising from this. They identified a few psychological techniques that we can apply in a business situation.
Explain what went wrong
Keep it simple
If you repeat a lie often enough...
And if you repeat the truth often enough…
Fight Fire With Fire
As you’ve probably worked out by now the techniques and psychological traits you can tap into to get rid of misinformation and misconceptions are basically the same techniques and psychological traits that created the misinformation and misconceptions in the first place! You’re transplanting one version of the truth with another.
It’s not always a straight forward operation and, like any transplant, success isn’t guaranteed. But armed with these psychological tools you will have a much higher chance of persuading people of the truth.