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Only theory

 

Techniques > Resisting persuasion >  Only theory

Method | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Method

When the other person offers an idea or gives an explanation for something that you do not like, discount it by saying 'That's only theory'.

When they quote an academic reference or model, scotch it as being not in the real world.

Show that your experience is better than any theory.

Example

Nice idea, but that's only theory. We're in the real world here.

You seem to read a lot. I just get on and do stuff.

Sorry -- I don't buy ideas that I can't see in action.

Discussion

Discounting what someone says as 'theory' is often an effective personal attack, as what they think is closely linked with their sense of identity. Such a comment is thus likely to throw them off their stride.

The reality is actually that we are always creating our own theories about how things work, and that academic theories are often much better than those we concoct ourselves.

See also

Qualifications, Intellectualizing, Academic Theories, It Applies in Theory, But Not in Practice

 

 

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