Each day we are exposed to many attempts to change our attitudes. Advertisers, politicians, charities all seek to exert this kind of influence upon us. How can you resist such efforts, which are often highly skilled? Here are some suggestions, based on the recent findings of social psychologists.

View Attempts at Persuasion as Assaults on Your Personal Freedom
No one likes being told what to do, but in a sense this is precisely what would-be persuaders are trying to do when they attempt to change your attitudes. So when you are on the receiving end of such appeals, remind yourself that you are in charge of your own life and that there's no reason to listen to or accept what advertisers, politicials, and the like tell you.

Recognize Attempts at Persuasion When You See Them
Knowing that someone is trying to persuade you - being forwarned - is often useful from the point of view of resisting efforts at persuasuion. So whenever you encounter someone or some organization that seeks to influence your views, remind yourself that no matter how charming or friendly they are, persuasion is their goal. This will help you resist.

Remind Yourself of Your Own Views and of How These Differ from the Ones Being Urged Upon You
While biased assimilation - the tendency to perceive views different from our own as unconvincing and unreliable - can prevent us from absorbing potentially useful information, it is also a useful means for resisting persuasion. When others present views different from your own as part of a persuasive appeal, focus on how different these ideas are from those you hold. The rest will often take care of itself!

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