Psychologists discovered an absurdly easy way to win an argument

Andreashorn / Wikimedia CommonsConvincing. If you want to win an argument, just namedrop the cuddle hormone oxytocin, the lust-romance-addiction chemical dopamine, or the impulse-quashing neocortex. According to a new study, people think that neuroscience — or anything that sounds like neuroscience — is pretty convincing, thanks to the so-called “allure of neuroscience” bias. A team lead by Villanova psychologist Diego Fernandez-Duque presented 294 undergraduates with explanations for behaviors (some of them nonsense) and asked the students to rate how convincing the arguments were. The arguments came in three flavors: • With an appeal to social science (like how someone was raised might shape their behavior) • With an appeal to biological science (like how DNA would shape a behavior)  • With an appeal to neuroscience (like a region of the brain associated with a behavior)  In each case,…


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