One of the most viral news interviews of this year was the interview between Jordan B. Peterson and Cathy Newman. (I'd like to thanks Chris for asking me to analyze it because this is a fun one.)
If you missed this interview somehow, or need a refresher, you can check the video out above.
Jordan B. Peterson is a Canadian professor who gained fame for opposing Canada's new laws of compelled speech. The law in question deals with issues like mandating transgender individuals be referred to by their chosen pronouns.
But Peterson claims he doesn't care what the intent of a compelled-speech law is. His stance is that a government that seeks to control the words its citizens must speak, with legal recourse, should be opposed.
Taking this stance destabilized his job security and made Peterson a figure of controversy both in Canada and abroad.
This interview with English reporter Cathy Newman took place expanded his exposure immensely.
The consensus of many is that Peterson not only held his own in the interview but emerged victor in the interview-turned-debate.
To see if there is some science behind the general impression, let's take a look at how their conversation plots out in my system.
In this conversation, Jordan B. Peterson scores as a Pundit (this type presents insight on a specific topic with the inherent bias of presenting themselves as accurate and contenders as less informed.)
and Cathy Newman scores as a Preacher (this type places all information into an ongoing narrative they maintain we collectively share, whether we know it or not.)
So what do all those colors mean?
Think of them this way:
Green invites a response from the other person
Purple shows collaboration of ideas
Red indicates asserting ideas
Yellow shows where objective information is introduced
Orange reveals where information is being framed within the discussion
Grey squares indicate prompted responses that are discounted in scoring
You can see that Newman asks more questions than Peterson does, which is appropriate since she is the one conducting the interview.
In an ideal world, Newman would score as the polar opposite of her current score by providing the information and research she wants to discuss with Peterson and walking through/challenging his responses.
No interviewer can go wrong scoring as an Explorer
The path she took instead was to make assertions and frame her conclusions as definitive while speaking with a subject matter expert.
This led to a conversation where Newman sought to assert her thoughts as a framework of facts, to which Peterson responded with actual facts/statistics and reframes of her assertions. His reframes and statistics came across as well-informed enough to make Newman's assertions seem wobbly to anyone who wasn't in Preacher mode with her.
Throughout the entire discussion, Newman fights to frame her claims as both accurate and aspirational, but Peterson doesn't let her walk away with either trophy. In American-speak, there is "reasonable doubt" as to whether or not she is correct in her assertions when faced with Peterson's counter-claims.
Newman goes all-in putting Peterson on trial for his stances, and not only does she not get him to move, she often proves his points in her eagerness to gain traction.
Peterson's main weapon in making Newman's claims slippery is all the yellow you see on his chart. Peterson walked into the interview with facts he could frame, and Newman walked into the interview with frames she presented like strung-together, cherry-picked correlations.
The result was that Newman likely converted no one in this interview while Peterson demonstrably gained more followers and attention in the aftermath.
To get a better idea as to why his approach to hot-button topic resonated with so many, look at the flow of conversation one more time and let the colors do the talking.
Green and Yellow open up the conversation.
Purple shows attempt at collaboration
Red and Orange narrow and direct the conversation
Looking at the graphs alone, can you see why most people come out of the interview viewing Peterson as the victor?
Have any questions or angles you'd like me to address?
A tweet popped through my feed that looked like a good lead to a video to show you how my system works.
The tweet looked a little something like this:
A search for the video in question led me to this interview:
In one aspect, this is a terrible example to show a diversity of types within a conversation. It doesn't take a system like mine to reveal this is in an abrasive and aggressive interview openly leaning one direction.
But let's look at a map of each individual's participation in the exchange anyway:
* Grey squares indicate non-scored, prompted interactions that score the same across all types.
The color-coding of my system is designed to reveal the icon using color association.
The colors that appear the most reveal the communication style used in this video.
As you can see, all three men score as Preachers, although you can see Paris Dennard's possible tendency to have more of an Influencer or Entrepreneur style if placed in a less defensive position. (This is why 7 proofs are required to prove a type in my system and this conversation in its entirety only counts as one.)
What is a Preacher?Preachers are assertive framers who place all information into an ongoing narrative they claim impacts everyone--whether they know it or not. One of their more common fallacies is the belief that A = Z, therefore A cannot happen.
This conversation is a chorus of preaching--the host included. The host's score is may be one of the most noteworthy aspects of this exchange, considering the role of his occupation lies on the opposite end of the spectrum. An excellent interviewer will often score as an Explorer.
Because Explorers create space in a conversation by infusing information and asking questions that mediate extremes. This skill has the ability to expand a conversation while simultaneously retaining enough objectivity to keep it from going off the rails.
In this instance, you can see that the host is aligned with Philip Mudd, along with all the consequences that brings. Mainly, enablement of over-aggression. It may seem like a favor in the short-term but, when enabled to escalate too much, can ultimately be a disservice.
So let's bring this back to Trump's tweet.
Did Mudd make his case, or did he leave the door open for Trump to make his?
I'll give you a hint: Trump is the only one who ended his argument with a question. And a question makes space for conversation.
This is what Trump's tweet looks like mapped:
What do you want to bet that a choir will show up to fill that space he just opened for them to respond to his assertion?
Time will tell. This is all happening real-time, but I would expect this to become a talking point among Trump supporters.
I didn’t mean to do it. In fact, I meant to do the exact opposite of what I ended up doing.
Funny how life works out that way sometimes, isn’t it? But the good news is that terrible ideas can lead to great ideas … even if it takes longer than your pride would like to get you there. That's pretty much what happened to me.
So what’s this thing I’ve done?
What if I told you I had developed a system that helped you identify rhetorical bias in your news sources? What if I told you this system works on other information sources as well? Topic doesn't matter. Neither does charisma or background. The math treats everyone equally and the scores reveal the rhetoric style.
Would you be interested in tweeting me links to interviews with public figures who interest you in exchange for finding out where they land on my scale?
I hope so, because I now that I have my system, I’d really love to build a library while showing you how it can help you.
So what do I need?
This system is most accurate in analyzing dialog between equals. So I need LINKS to interviews and conversations.
Peer-to-peer conversations are best, and I would love links to clips or transcripts of interviews between people in the public eye.
Every so often people email me asking me when I'm going to start putting my books out in paperback. I've put it off for a number of reasons, but this year I decided to put all those reasons aside and put some books out.
The first offering?
The last book in the Rhea Jensen series, Walk of Infamy.
I intentionally wrote this book both as a conclusion to the series and a standalone for anyone who wants to read it as a supplement to the Pimpernel series, without having to read the whole series.
Hope you enjoy!!!
Rhea always knew she worked for powerful men, but she didn’t understand the full scope of their influence until she quit her job—or tried to. The clandestine group that calls themselves The Fours doesn’t accept two-week’s notice from employees. Instead, they’re demanding Rhea perform a final task of their choosing to earn a life free from their demands. Rhea knows whatever The Fours ask of her will be unlike any challenge she’s ever faced. She’s prepared for the worst, but what she’s about to learn is that groups like The Fours are a secret for a reason. Because no one gets to walk away from them. Not even Rhea.
Welcome to December 12, 2017--the Official Launch Date of Pimpernel: Royal Ball.
To celebrate, Royal Ball's birthday, Pimpernel will be free th 12th (today) - 15th (Friday).
Below you will find the Rafflecopter, sponsored by I Am A Reader. She's giving away money, so if you want to throw your hat in the ring on that
Pimpernel: Royal Ball by Sheralyn Pratt Sequel to the award-winning novel, Pimpernel
One man, one night, one dance, and one question…none of which Claire Ramsey sees coming.
She thinks the night is a test—a call to rise above her insecurities and step more fully into her skills.
It’s been a year since she learned about the Pimpernel and fell in love with the man of so many masks. Jack’s world is full of high stakes and big players, and Claire wants in.
To her frustration, Jack is dragging his feet on letting her all the way into both his heart and his work. The risk is too high, he says. But Claire is ready to prove him wrong. She’s ready to go all-in.
What Claire doesn’t know is that Jack is no lone wolf, and the world he is shielding her from is much bigger than she has ever imagined.
But one man, one night, one dance, and one question will change all of that in a way Claire never saw coming.
There was a man in the room—a dark-haired man with unreal green eyes and a suit that looked ready for a fashion shoot. The intruder was fit and tall, with a trimmed beard that looked like it had been shaped with laser precision.
Do. Not. Scream. (Again.) Do not freak. Coherency is your only bargaining chip, and only one of you works here.
For the first time that day, Claire wasn’t arguing with her instincts.
“How did you get in here?” she accused.
“Someone left the door open.”
Oh. Yeah. That would be her. She opened the floor. And left it open.
But that still didn’t explain what this man was doing in Margot’s office wearing the most refined suit she’d ever seen.
Part of Claire felt reassured that if this man was an assassin, it would be a tidy affair. He wouldn’t want to get blood on his clothes.
“Who are you?” she asked, trying to get a sense for exactly how much trouble she was in.
“I’m the boss’s son.”
That made no sense. “Margot is the boss.”
He seemed to weigh her answer. “Depends on how you look at it. If you’re talking about the business, yes. That’s Margot’s. But if we’re talking about what brought you here tonight, then Jack works for my father. His line has served ours faithfully for many years. We like Jack.”
Claire knew Ren’s family had served Margot’s for generations, but she’d always thought that more as a bodyguard thing. Jack wasn’t a bodyguard. He was a problem-solver for the elite. When people growing into their power started doing things that threatened the safety of civilians, Jack was brought in to—
Something clicked in Claire’s brain.
It wasn’t like her to be the last one to catch on to something, but everything Claire had seen in the past year fit very nicely into this man’s claim. When a job came in, Jack and Margot did it. They didn’t argue over its merit or vet the client. They solved the problem.
Because someone asked—allegedly, this guy’s father.
So either this man was an assassin sent to kill her, or the boss’s son had just caught her red-handed. Whatever the case, running away and pretending this never happened didn’t seem to be an option.
Stand your ground, instinct whispered.
“You need to make a choice before you speak again, Claire,” the green-eyed man said. “You must decide if you’ve just been caught where you ought not to be, or if you’re exactly where you want to be.”
Pimpernel by Sheralyn Pratt For centuries, the elite of the world have sought the Pimpernel everywhere. Some want to kill him, others want to hire him, but Jack Cavanaugh knows that the love/hate relationship comes with the job title. At present, Jack is trying to dismantle an investment scheme centered in Las Vegas, but "trying" is the operative word. It's been a month since he put the face of the scheme behind bars, yet the scam is still going strong. As Jack tries to uncover who has stepped in as the new head, what miniscule evidence there is all seems to point him back to Claire Ramsey, an introverted PhD student studying at UNLV. If ever there as an unlikely head of an investment scheme, Claire's it. She has a genius IQ, but from all Jack has seen, Claire’s intelligence is as much a blessing as a curse when paired up with her acute OCD. Claire can barely make conversation with the cute guy down the hall, which makes it hard to believe she could be the charismatic salesperson who is getting international businessmen to invest $5—50 million a pop. So what is Jack missing? What is the real story behind Claire Ramsey? And once Jack learns it, will he be able to walk away?
Author Sheralyn Pratt
Sheralyn was born at an early age, with 10 fingers and 10 toes. She is proud to report that she currently retains all 20 digits. Described by one reviewer as "the bomb dot com" (url already claimed... bummer), Sheralyn has been a karate instructor, musical theater performer, a beach bum, freelance writer, nomadic traveler, and, yes, a private investigator. At the moment she enjoys working with and training her dog to give the poor thing breaks from sitting and Sheralyn's feet with the unbearable task of watching someone write a book.
Really, and you thought your job was bad!
Sheralyn currently resides in Salt Lake City, Utah, although as people who know her can attest to, that is subject to change at any time ;)
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