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Self-Persuasion: Evidence from Field Experiments at International Debating Competitions

Schwardmann, Peter and Tripodi, Egon and van der Weele, Joël J (2022) 'Self-Persuasion: Evidence from Field Experiments at International Debating Competitions.' The American Economic Review, 112 (4). pp. 1118-1146. ISSN 0002-8282 (In Press)

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Abstract

Laboratory evidence shows that when people have to argue for a given position, they persuade themselves about the position’s factual and moral superiority. Such self-persuasion limits the potential of communication to resolve conflict and reduce polarization. We test for this phenomenon in a field setting, at international debating competitions that randomly assign experienced and motivated debaters to argue one side of a topical motion. We find self-persuasion in factual beliefs and confidence in one’s position. Effect sizes are smaller than in the laboratory, but robust to a one-hour exchange of arguments and a ten-fold increase in incentives for accuracy.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences
Faculty of Social Sciences > Economics, Department of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2021 18:57
Last Modified: 10 Jun 2022 13:41
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/31298

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