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Agree to disagree? A psychological take on the referendum debate

With the referendum campaigns on both sides now in full swing, Dr Kris De Meyer, a computational neuroscientist in the Department of Informatics, examines some of the psychological aspects of the debate. In this podcast, he considers how some of the techniques being used by both sides tap in to our brains and discusses some of the reasons why a debate like this can become so divisive.

Dr De Meyer also examines the psychological ideas of ‘Myside bias’ and motivated reasoning and explains how a debate like this taps in to our personal values, thus making it much more difficult to understand why someone might disagree with us. He suggests that by trying to understand each other's values we can view their opinion more positively and therefore have more constructive debates without compromising our own value based reasons.

Music: ' I Dunno' by Grapes. Licensed under creative commons from

Image: 'Conversation' by Ray Wewerka. Licensed under creative commons via Flickr.

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