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Ideologies and their points of view

  • Kitto, Kirsty
  • Widdows, Dominic
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2016
Queensland University of Technology ePrints Archive


It is well known that different arguments appeal to different people. We all process information in ways that are adapted to be consistent with our underlying ideologies. These ideologies can sometimes be framed in terms of particular axes or dimensions, which makes it possible to represent some aspects of an ideology as a region in the kind of vector space that is typical of many generalised quantum models. Such models can then be used to explain and predict, in broad strokes, whether a particular argument or proposal is likely to appeal to an individual with a particular ideology. The choice of suitable arguments to bring about desired actions is traditionally part of the art or science of rhetoric, and today's highly polarised society means that this skill is becoming more important than ever. This paper presents a basic model for understanding how different goals will appeal to people with different ideologies, and thus how different rhetorical positions can be adopted to promote the same desired outcome. As an example, we consider different narratives and hence actions with respect to the environment and climate change, an important but currently highly controversial topic.

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