Debate a friend about vaccines, politics, or even who’ll win the Super Bowl this year, and it rarely ends well. Each of you is so entrenched in your positions—and so sure of your convictions—that the most likely outcome is an argument.
But what if both of you reflected on your values before you started bickering—how much you treasure loyalty or equality, for example? You’d boost your “intellectual humility,” your openness to being wrong, according to a new study. And that, in turn, might lead to a more civil conversation—and possibly even an agreement.
The study presents a “really wonderful” way to address the problem, says Tenelle Porter, a psychologist at Ball State University who was not involved with the research. The work, she says, might not just save friendships, it could help people get along better online and in the workplace.