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How to persuade people on the Internet
How to persuade people on the Internet
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Old 11th May 2018, 06:48 AM   #1
spaceistheplace is offline spaceistheplace
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How to persuade people on the Internet
Default How to persuade people on the Internet

(Or realize when you can’t and you should pack up and go home)

Ever wonder why you can’t convince Person X about [ insert your choice of topic such as Quantum Audio Devices, Ancient Aliens, Was Paul the Walrus, et al.] ?

Winning Arguments: Interaction Dynamics and Persuasion Strategies in Good-faith Online Discussions

https://arxiv.org/pdf/1602.01103v1.pdf

Abstract:

Changing someone’s opinion is arguably one of the most important challenges of social interaction. The underlying process proves difficult to study: it is hard to know how someone’s opinions are formed and whether and how someone’s views shift. Fortunately, ChangeMyView, an active community on Reddit, provides a plat- form where users present their own opinions and reasoning, invite others to contest them, and acknowledge when the ensuing discus- sions change their original views. In this work, we study these interactions to understand the mechanisms behind persuasion.

We find that persuasive arguments are characterized by interest- ing patterns of interaction dynamics, such as participant entry-order and degree of back-and-forth exchange. Furthermore, by compar- ing similar counterarguments to the same opinion, we show that language factors play an essential role. In particular, the interplay between the language of the opinion holder and that of the coun- terargument provides highly predictive cues of persuasiveness. Fi- nally, since even in this favorable setting people may not be per- suaded, we investigate the problem of determining whether some- one’s opinion is susceptible to being changed at all. For this more difficult task, we show that stylistic choices in how the opinion is expressed carry predictive power.


—————-
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Old 11th May 2018, 06:58 AM   #2
scottjoplin is offline scottjoplin  Wales
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Originally Posted by spaceistheplace View Post

Changing someone’s opinion is arguably one of the most important challenges of social interaction.
No it's not
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Old 11th May 2018, 07:05 AM   #3
spaceistheplace is offline spaceistheplace
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How to persuade people on the Internet
Default How to persuade people on the Internet

*smashes head into desk*
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Old 11th May 2018, 07:38 AM   #4
wintermute is offline wintermute  Australia
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How to persuade people on the Internet
Without yet having read the article, one of the things that I learned a few years ago was that Rational Persuasion (the art of putting forward rational arguments as to why something is or should be) is actually the most likely form of persuasion to cause resistance! That was a real eye opener for me!!

Tony.
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Old 11th May 2018, 07:42 AM   #5
scottjoplin is offline scottjoplin  Wales
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Threat of punishment a very effective means of persuasion
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Old 11th May 2018, 08:08 AM   #6
spaceistheplace is offline spaceistheplace
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How to persuade people on the Internet
Default How to persuade people on the Internet

Quote:
Originally Posted by wintermute View Post
Without yet having read the article, one of the things that I learned a few years ago was that Rational Persuasion (the art of putting forward rational arguments as to why something is or should be) is actually the most likely form of persuasion to cause resistance! That was a real eye opener for me!!
While that may be your interpretation of your experience, it seems much more nuanced than that.

Rational and Persuasion are two different things. Often people thing their rationale is de facto persuasive, but this is a pitfall of subjective bias.

If the person is malleable at all, success is related to ones delivery of the logic, not the logic itself.

Their research suggests that the arguments that end up changing people’s minds have certain dynamics. Numbers are important: The more people that try to persuade the original poster, the greater the likelihood of changing their view. So is timing: Those who write back first to the post first are more likely to persuade the original poster than those who write later.

If you can’t convince someone in four replies each likelihood is close to nil you will be successful in persuading someone to change their mind.

The researchers find that the factor most linked with successfully persuading someone is using different words than the original posts do – a sign that commentators are bringing in new points of view. They find that longer replies tend to be more convincing, as do arguments that use calmer language.

Hedging – using language like “it could be the case” – is associated with more persuasive arguments. While hedging can signal a weaker point of view, the researchers say that it can also make an argument easier to accept by softening its tone.

They argue that language tells us something about whether the person’s mind can be changed in the first place. The researchers note that the language a person uses to express the original opinion shows, to a great extent, whether their opinion is malleable or not.

They find that first person pronouns (“I”) indicate an opinion is malleable, but first person plural pronouns (“we”) suggest the opposite. Changeable opinions are also expressed more calmly and more positively, using words including “help” and “please,” and more adjectives and adverbs.

Stubborn views are expressed with more excitement, and using decisive words like “anyone,” “certain,” and “nothing,” and superlative adjectives like “worst” and “best.”

Also there’s other practical issues involved.

People often don’t read that carefully. Information on the Internet is designed to be consumed quickly and reacted to immediately. Even if you put together a rational argument, someone may skim it and respond only to a certain phrase you used.

Minds aren’t likely to be changed instantly so you aren’t likely to observe it in the exchange but may be part of a long term transformation of belief.

If anything, people seem to harden their positions and often refuse to concede any points in the moment as a face saving technique even if you’ve put some proverbial “chinks in the armor”.

You may have made progress but won’t receive the public satisfaction from your efforts.
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Last edited by spaceistheplace; 11th May 2018 at 08:10 AM.
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Old 11th May 2018, 08:16 AM   #7
scottjoplin is offline scottjoplin  Wales
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It's never (sorry, it's usually not) a good start when large egos are at play, which is often the case in these circumstances. Also the media encourages extreme views due to the lack of direct consequences, I remember on this site someone said " these are not real conversations, we are all hiding behind our keyboards"
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Old 11th May 2018, 09:18 AM   #8
DF96 is offline DF96  England
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As SY once said, it can be difficult to teach someone something when their income depends on them not learning it. That explains a significant part of the 'failure to convince' we see on this forum.

Another problem is that it is easy to learn some words, but harder to understand what they actually mean. This allows people to express 'opinions' which they do not understand themselves, and thus are impervious to counter-arguments. Combine this with the foolishness of "you haven't convinced me that I am wrong, therefore I am right" and you have stubborn ignorance.

Another problem is people who try to 'help' but whose thinking is equally muddled but just on the other side of the argument. They can be very effective at undermining attempts at enlightenment.

Finally, some of the things we talk about here are not matters of opinion, but matters of fact. For example, Fourier theory is a fact; those who deny it are not expressing an opinion but merely exhibiting ignorance.
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Old 11th May 2018, 09:31 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by DF96 View Post
For example, Fourier theory is a fact; those who deny it are not expressing an opinion but merely exhibiting ignorance.
Till the signal arrives at speaker's terminals and not considering some factors like thermical and vibrational.


When the signal ( transduced ) leaves the speaker, it's another story
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Old 11th May 2018, 09:42 AM   #10
traderbam is offline traderbam  Europe
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Ha ha. I've not heard about Fourier Series Deniers...is it a movement? I expect the EU will pass a law against it.
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