Meet me in St. Louis!

If you’re in St. Louis this evening, I’ll be giving a talk sponsored by IHS and the Show-Me Institute (Show me the freedom! That’s what!) on “Identity and the Psychology of Persuasion,” a version of the talk I’ve delivered the last couple years for Cato University.

Here’s the deal:

Although armed with impressive logical and empirical arguments, you have probably discovered that your liberal and conservative friends aren’t immediately persuaded by your devastating dialectical acumen. No matter how many times you explain the economics and philosophy of individual rights and free markets, many of your friends and family remain unconvinced.

Why do some people seem impervious to logical argument? You’re invited to an event in the St. Louis area entitled “Identity and the Psychology of Persuasion.” Will Wilkinson, a friend of ours and a policy analyst at the Cato Institute, will draw together recent research in social and cognitive psychology that can help you become more effective at persuasion.

Will argues that political and moral beliefs aren’t just an embellishment tacked on to our personalities. We tend to see our beliefs as expressing or constituting our sense of who we are. We worry that if we change our minds, we’ll be selling ourselves out. That’s one reason why it is hard to argue somebody into a new position, even if you are right. Will’s talk touches on a wide range of psychological studies dealing with, among other things, religious conversions, coalitional thinking, personality traits, and the importance  of metaphor in respectfully and effectively navigating issues of identity when trying to persuade.

The event is co-sponsored by the Show-Me Institute, a new free-market think tank based in the St. Louis area. In addition to meeting Will and hearing his talk, you’ll have the opportunity to meet SMI staff members and learn about its programs. If you enjoyed participating in IHS’s programs, this is your chance to get involved in a sister organization in your home town. You’ll get a free glass of Schlafly’s beer, courtesy of IHS.

The event will be held at the Schlafly Brewery and Tap Room, located at 2100 Locust Street, at 7:30 PM on Wednesday March 8. More information about the location, including a map, is available here:

Thanks for your past participation in IHS programs, and I hope you’ll join Will and the Show-Me Institute at the Tap Room on March 8.

If you’d like to attend please RSVP to Tim Lee: tlee -at- showmeinstitute -dot- org

And after that, I’ll be at a Liberty Fund conference on “Freedom, Responsibility, and Lying.” The readings have been fascinating, and would have been useful when preparing my paper on Social Security as embodying an illiberal “noble lie.”