“Again and again, people who read the more complicated article went on to have richer conversations. They asked more questions, proposed higher quality ideas and left the lab more satisfied with their conversations.
“They don’t solve the debate,” Coleman says, “but they do have a more nuanced understanding and more willingness to continue the conversation.” Complexity is contagious.
The lesson for journalists like me was clear: embrace complexity. Highlight nuance, contradiction and ambiguity wherever you can find it. For one thing, complexity leads to a fuller, more accurate version of reality. It also increases the odds that new information will be taken seriously.
But journalists almost always do the opposite. Reporters cut the quotes that don’t fit the narrative, or our editor cuts them for us. We look for coherence, which is tidy and natural.”
/A Ripley, the Guardian “Make America talk again: the lab teaching sworn enemies to have decent conversations”