John Donvan In Conversation With David Mcraney On The Science Of Changing Minds

What’s it take to change a mind? It turns out there is a science to it. That’s at least according to David McRaney, a journalist, author, and host of the You Are Not So Smart podcast. The first step, he says, is don’t overtly try to win. In any argument, an attempt to defeat the opposing party is not nearly as effective as leading the person along in stages, which eventually align with your own thinking. In fact, mere exposure to different ideas, according a recent Pew study, does not generally change most Americans’ perspectives on a given issue. Understanding techniques to communicate successfully and proactively active listen, is ultimately thought to be a more effective approach. Intelligence Squared US, since 2026, has made fostering intellectual openness in dialogue a core part of its mission. In that context, and to get a sense of what other methods are out there, John Donvan sat down with David McRaney on the science of changing minds.