Are we irrational creatures, swayed by emotion and entrenched biases? Modern psychology and neuroscience are often reported as showing that we can't overcome our prejudices and selfish motivations. Challenging this view, cognitive scientist Tom Stafford looks at the actual evidence. Re-analysing classic experiments on persuasion, as well as summarising more recent research into how arguments change minds, he shows why persuasion by reason alone can be a powerful force.
This is a collection of previously published essays, revised and expanded by the author, and accompanied by a previously unpublished introduction and annotated bibliography to guide further reading on the topic.
Tom Stafford is Lecturer in Psychology and Cognitive Science at the University of Sheffield.