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Sender: Bill Potapchuk
Subject: a question
Date: Thu, May 22, 2014
Msg: 101005

Greetings. I've been a lurker since the launch of this list and have appreciated all of the deep conversation.

I have a questions/comment.

In my work, I have been interested in the growing literature on why we are hard wired to not change our minds (See , for example) and that we filter data to confirm what we believe and ignore that which is contrary to our beliefs.

In other spheres of human activity, there is growing understanding of how attention to framing and small cues make it more likely for a person to do something that is different from what they would normally do. The something might be honoring a commitment (I will do that by . . . ), making a healthy food choice, saving money, continuing a fitness regime, taking actions to facilitate one's health, or any other activity where, in short term, it is easier to do something (the default position) that is not in one's long term interest. A brief, popularized version of this field of study can be found here:

This field of behavioral economics seeks to "understand why people often make choices that do not align with a rational assessment of the decision's consequences." In many ways, I think it is hard for individuals to act with transpartisanship (or empathy or seeking to learn or etc.) in mind because their default position is to act the way one always acts.

Has anybody been using the guidance from the behavioral economics (or any other field) to explore what kinds of prompts one might use to facilitate more open-minded, more transpartisan behavior in deliberative settings?

A note: I am asking this question, in part, because I was noticing my own reaction to some of the language in this discussion. Someone talked about, for example, how transforming one's perspective requires the ability and willingness to learn. I found myself saying (to myself) I know where I stand on certain issues (like human rights issues) and do not need anyone to tell me to learn. So, rather than considering opening my mind and learning, I found myself stiffening and digging in. And I know from my work, that stiffening and closing down is not a unique reaction to a suggestion or request to do something differently. I had a similar reaction to cap and prioritize.

It seems like work on transpartisanship can increase its impact if we develop strategies which help people respond differently than their default response and overcome their natural inclination to not change their mind.

Best . . . bill

PS Michael, thanks for putting together the summary!

Bill Potapchuk Community Building Institute 127 S. Highland St. Arlington, VA 22204 703-425-6296 office 703-431-9943 cell [cid:image003.png@01CF7421.7E089C30]

From: List for transpartisan leaders and innovators [mailto:TRANSPARTISAN@LISTS.THATAWAY.ORG] On Behalf Of Bruce Schuman Sent: Sunday, May 18, 2014 7:46 PM To: TRANSPARTISAN@LISTS.THATAWAY.ORG Subject: [TRANSPARTISAN] Living Room Conversations

I was just looking at the Living Room Conversations web site this afternoon.

The front page of the site offers six strongly positive affirmations for transpartisan citizen activism.

It immediately struck me that these affirmations are at the foundation of any new "social contract" that might emerge in the context of the transpartisan movement.

So, I promptly created a "survey" - intended to get these affirmations onto the desktops of as many people as possible - in a form that invites their "a la carte" agreement (i.e., like a "line-item veto", you don't have to agree with every single point in one block - pick the ones you like, cafeteria-style). And if you're feeling picky - add new options or propose edits.

This does feel kinda hot to me. We ought to be pushing this stuff out the door at lightning speed....

Here's a signed-out link to this survey on Network Nation:

Here's the survey on the web site:


And here's the survey as it arrived in my Yahoo email account - with its bright-red instant-sign-in respond-now button...


Bruce Schuman NETWORK NATION: SHARED PURPOSE: INTERSPIRIT: (805) 966-9515, PO Box 23346, Santa Barbara CA 93101


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