Summary - Logical people are at a huge disadvantage when it comes to persuading people of a different mindset. That is because they use logic and data to 'prove people wrong,' but that is a scientifically ineffective approach.
People will easily accept data that backs up their beliefs. Meanwhile, they will search relentlessly for flaws in data presented to them if it goes against what they believe. Therefore, in order to change people's minds there are some simple, universal, psychological conditions that need to be understood about people before trying to change anyone's mind.
1. People have fragile egos.
In other words, they don't like to be proven wrong. It makes them feel bad about themselves.
Once you understand this, it will make sense to you that you should not look to humiliate or make the other person feel like a fool for what they believed before. Instead, you must give them an out for the way they were thinking in the first place.
Delicately caress their ego so they know it was perfectly okay and understandable that they were thinking the way they were. Do not even say things like 'I don't blame you for feeling that way,' as that will simply come off as condescending. Instead, say something like - 'I actually was feeling that way too, I can see your thinking there.'
Then go on and say, 'but then I heard that this fact totally disproved my thinking, I was shocked!'
You see? It's not about them. You are showing your vulnerability and you were able to change your mind when you discovered new facts that no one knew before.
2. You are not your beliefs!
People guard their babies very closely. Threaten a baby and a parent could do unthinkable things to defend him or her. Beliefs are often dealt with in the same way. People hold their beliefs as if they are their babies and thus will defend them to the death.
So it is important to separate yourself from your beliefs. For instance, in this article I don't say these are my beliefs. This is just an article I read somewhere with some research behind it and I am just presenting it to you as clearly as I can. It is not me.
So when talking with other people about their beliefs, don't ever attack their beliefs as they will see it as an attack on them and it is very hard to change yourself, while it is much easier to change a thought that is not connected to the person.
3. Empathize with the other person.
Truly try to understand why they believe the things they do. It is not because they are wrong, it is because they are coming from a different place. Perhaps, their belief is based on a defense of their livelihood and giving up that belief might do them literal harm. So it is not about changing their belief, it is about figuring out the underlying factors that are leading them to that belief and giving them a solution that does not involve believing in the false thing.
4. Be open to change yourself!
Talking with people of differing viewpoints is important to the development of self. If all you talk to are people who think like you, you are doing yourself a disservice. It is important to show the person you are talking to that you are willing to change some of your own beliefs. And after all, it shouldn't be too hard now that you realize your beliefs are not you. They are just things that popped across your mind. They can be adjusted and changed. They are malleable.