Repetitive and insistent discourse may be counter-intuitive

It seems logical that all Singaporeans can bring beneficial changes to our society through discourse and by exchanging ideas with one another (True change comes when disparate groups converse, by Mr Theodore Lai; Sept 13).

However, in reality, the converse appears to be true.

Instead of reducing political polarisation, exposure to opposing ideas, especially repeated ideas put across in an insistent tone, tend to make parties across the divide even less accepting and less accommodating of such views.

Perhaps the result from the Twitter study should not have surprised us (Twitter's flawed solution to political polarisation; Sept 13).

All humans have personal biases and, once set in our ways, we will only selectively endorse views that confirm our own beliefs while rejecting contrary ones.

We cannot simply dismiss alternative viewpoints as propaganda. Having a proven track record and being consistent, genuine, accountable and honest almost always work when it comes to persuading people to see one's point of view.

Yik Keng Yeong (Dr)