- Mon, March 21 2011
- Filed under: Marketing essentials
As Alia explains:
Cultural cognition refers to “the tendency of individuals to conform their beliefs about disputed matters of fact (e.g.whether global warming is real; whether the death penalty deters murder; whether gun control makes society more safe or less) to values that define their cultural identities” (Dan Kahan, The Cultural Cognition Project). In short, people tend to make decisions about their stance on controversial issues not based on facts and reason, but by conforming to the groups with which they most powerfully identify. That is why we see intense disagreement over the same facts.
What’s a fundraiser to do in the face of this bias?
Alia says, because cultural values trump rationality—even when it comes to evaluating science and data - we have to remember the facts alone are not enough. We need to pay much more attention to, and show much more respect for, the way those facts feel.
Since people tend to endorse whichever position reinforces their connection to others with whom they share values, consider whom you identify as your spokespeople and authority figures. If you are reaching out into a different value mode, make sure your “experts” mirror the values of your target audience.
For more on Alia’s insights, read the new eBook Mark, Alia and I wrote. You can find it - for free - here.