# Discover The Power Of Paradoxes To Change Attitudes

A paradox is a strange idea opposed to what is considered true in light of general opinion. Thus, **paradoxes are figures of thought that consist of using expressions or phrases that imply contradiction**.

There are different types of paradoxes that deal with logic, infinity, probability, physics, or geometry. Many of these paradoxes appear to us in everyday life, although we are not always aware of them. **One of these paradoxes is the Monty Hall dilemma. **Do you know him?

## Paradoxes: the Monty Hall dilemma

The Monty Hall problem is a mathematical probability problem based on the American television game show. In the contest, **the participant must choose one door among three**, all of them are closed. Behind one door there is a prize, a car, but behind the other two doors there are two goats.

When the contestant chooses a door, the presenter, who knows what is behind each door, opens one of the doors that the contestant hasn’t picked and a goat appears. The **contestant is then given the option to change the door** they had originally chosen.

In this situation **the contestant has two options: change doors or continue with the first choice** he made. Should the contestant keep their original choice or choose the other door? Is there a difference?

Yes, there are differences, **changing the initial choice would be the best option**, at least, probabilistically. Once a door containing the goat is opened, that door is no longer taken into account, so its probability becomes 0.

### Question of probability

**The probability that the contestant will choose the door that hides the car first is 1/3**, so the probability that the car will be in one of the doors that they did not **choose** is 2/3. When the presenter opens the door with the goat, that door is no longer taken into account, so its probability becomes 0.

When it becomes 0, the 2/3 probability goes to the door that you had not chosen in the beginning and that is still closed. **A common mistake is to think that now the two doors have the same probability**, that is 50%, of containing the car.

**The choice that the contestant made at the beginning affects the door that the presenter opens afterwards**, it is not a random event. If the contestant chooses the door containing the car in his first option, then the presenter can open either of the other two and, if the contestant changes his option, he would lose the car.

On the contrary, if the contestant chooses a door that contains one goat at the beginning, the presenter only has the option of opening one door, the one that contains the other goat. In that case, the remaining door is the one that the car has and changing the choice would win.

In short, if you keep your original choice, you win if you originally chose the car (with probability 1/3), while if you change, you win if you originally chose one of the two goats (with probability 2/3). Therefore, **the contestant must change his choice if he wants to maximize the probability of winning the car**.

## Paradoxical thinking: an example

**A group of Israeli scientists conducted an experiment in a small town** known for its high vote rate for far-right options. They carried out a campaign of paradoxical thought with which they hoped that the opinions of the most radical would be tempered.

For six weeks, they **subjected the inhabitants of that city to the campaign, which consisted of posters in the streets**, merchandise objects such as balloons, clips and T-shirts, and advertisements and videos on the web.

**The messages on the posters and the clips played with ideas and phrases such as “Without him we would never be fair**. .. To have justice, we probably need conflict” and “For heroes, we probably need conflict.” For their part, the videos proposed similar messages with related images.

After the campaign, polls were conducted to find out the opinion of the people regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. **The results of the surveys** of those who lived in the locality where the campaign was carried out **were compared** with the responses of people residing in other places and who had not been exposed to the campaign.

The people who took these surveys were not aware of being part of a psychological experiment. **The results showed that the perception of conflict was similar in all groups, except one. **Those who supported the extreme right and who had been exposed to the campaign showed a decline in support for the conflict.

The paradoxical thinking intervention had an effect on the beliefs and attitudes of the right-wing participants. They expressed less support for aggressive policies as well as greater support for conciliation policies. **By reducing people’s ideas to absurdity, warmongering is reduced.**