How we change what others think, feel, believe and do
Sudden Conversion Syndrome
The 'Sudden Conversion Syndrome' occurs where a person switches diametrically a belief in a short space of time, going from strong opposition to an idea to strong support of it.
The sudden conversion experience typically happens to people who see the world more in black and white. If they believe in black, then for them to convert, they can only leap the chasm between black and white in a single bound, believing in white (and disbelieving in black).
People who convert suddenly may also have a high need for control, which they get by seeking and creating certainties in their lives. They may appear to prefer structure and logic, although this logic may be made of false arguments as they seek emotional certainty over truth.
Sudden people often make excellent protagonists, as they go from vocal and visible opposition to 'seeing the light' and subsequent vocal and visible advocacy in a short space of time.
Sudden conversion is more likely to occur when there is significant and consistent evidence points to (a) current beliefs being wrong, and (b) alternative beliefs being right.
If there is conflicting evidence about the area in question, then the person can more easily ask searching questions and pay attention to whichever evidence confirms their current belief.
Social pressure is another strong factor that influences conversion, especially if the person in question is particularly susceptible to such forces.
Most of us are strongly affected by social pressures, making this a significant effect. If all of our friends clearly have strong beliefs in one area, and particularly if they see our beliefs are being wrong, then we will feel a powerful urge to convert to their way of thinking.
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