by Robert Gressis
In this dialogue, Hugo Mercier (French National Center for Scientific Research, Not Born Yesterday) and I discuss how human belief and manipulation work, and Hugo’s research about why people aren’t as manipulable as we sometimes think.
01:24 Hugo’s thesis: When it comes to communication, people are not easily manipulated, but hard to manipulate. 07:19 If people aren’t easily manipulated, then how does Hugo explain the success of Hitler, Pol Pot, and Trump? 16:07 Aren’t people easily manipulated by leaders who share their political orientation? 21:00 Do people really believe the crazy things they espouse? 28:36 What is the connection between belief and behavior? 35:45 Sperber and Mercier’s “interactionist” theory of reason 41:00 Twitter as a counterexample to the interactionist theory of reason 48:18 Are people good at arguing? 53:13 Rational rioters and the extraordinary heterogeneity of crowds