Thank you for this clear exposition. This trick probably works very well at first, but likely will suffer from diminishing returns, and actually backfire into hardening your subjects further. As people catch on to this, they will actually become more extreme in their original orientation. To see why, consider whether this manipulation (you may prefer: ‘exploration’) would be effective on you, with regard to your own strongly held views. It would not work and why it wouldn’t work is instructive. If somebody asked you to rate Trump 1 to 10, presumably you’d say “Zero” (or, equivalently, “One”). Then it’s game over. Occupying the extreme end of the scale stops this method in its tracks. If you’d said “three” all would be well, we could ask “why not two”. But occupying the extreme of admantine opposition, even hatred, is a showstopper. This would soon be apparent to an intelligent subject (and why would you even bother therapizing an idiot?)

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