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B&I Workshop: Diana Jordan (Duke)

Diana Jordan (Duke) will present "Online Persuasive Techniques of Ordinary Citizens: Text Analysis from a Mobile Chat Platform."

As the prevalence of online communication continues to rise, researchers are increasingly focusing on the public interactions of political elites and partisans. Despite the growing body of research on online communication, there remains limited understanding of chats between members of opposing political parties. Furthermore, the exploration of persuasive techniques employed in online direct messages, along with their distinctions from in-person methods, remains relatively unexplored. This study addresses these gaps by analyzing survey and text data collected from 1,169 United States citizens engaged in online cross-partisan discussions on a mobile chat platform regarding gun control or immigration. The research aims to illuminate citizens' use of various persuasive techniques and their impact on long-term and immediate attitude change, as well as perceptions of others and self-perceived persuasive abilities and knowledge. The study identifies several persuasive attributes, including the use of evidence, narration, personal narration, proposed solutions to political issues, and revealing of group identity. These attributes demonstrate varying degrees of effectiveness on attitude change and perceptions of persuasion. The findings reveal that individuals who received messages incorporating these persuasive techniques showed no significant impact on their attitudes toward gun control and immigration, both in the long-term and short-term. However, the use of evidence, narration, personal narration, and proposed solutions to political issues yielded significant results in predicting perceptions of one's partner's persuasive power, one's own persuasive power, and one's increased knowledge over their partner.