AbstractTo explain NLP models a popular approach is to use importance measures, such as attention, which inform input tokens are important for making a prediction. However, an open question is how well these explanations accurately reflect a model’s logic, a property called faithfulness. To answer this question, we propose Recursive ROAR, a new faithfulness metric. This works by recursively masking allegedly important tokens and then retraining the model. The principle is that this should result in worse model performance compared to masking random tokens. The result is a performance curve given a masking-ratio. Furthermore, we propose a summarizing metric using area-between-curves (ABC), which allows for easy comparison across papers, models, and tasks. We evaluate 4 different importance measures on 8 different datasets, using both LSTM-attention models and RoBERTa models. We find that the faithfulness of importance measures is both model-dependent and task-dependent. This conclusion contradicts previous evaluations in both computer vision and faithfulness of attention literature.