Persuasion of the Undecided: Language vs. the Listener

Liane Longpre, Esin Durmus, Claire Cardie


Abstract
This paper examines the factors that govern persuasion for a priori UNDECIDED versus DECIDED audience members in the context of on-line debates. We separately study two types of influences: linguistic factors — features of the language of the debate itself; and audience factors — features of an audience member encoding demographic information, prior beliefs, and debate platform behavior. In a study of users of a popular debate platform, we find first that different combinations of linguistic features are critical for predicting persuasion outcomes for UNDECIDED versus DECIDED members of the audience. We additionally find that audience factors have more influence on predicting the side (PRO/CON) that persuaded UNDECIDED users than for DECIDED users that flip their stance to the opposing side. Our results emphasize the importance of considering the undecided and decided audiences separately when studying linguistic factors of persuasion.
Anthology ID:
W19-4519
Volume:
Proceedings of the 6th Workshop on Argument Mining
Month:
August
Year:
2019
Address:
Florence, Italy
Venues:
ACL | ArgMining | WS
SIG:
Publisher:
Association for Computational Linguistics
Note:
Pages:
167–176
Language:
URL:
https://aclanthology.org/W19-4519
DOI:
10.18653/v1/W19-4519
Bibkey:
Cite (ACL):
Liane Longpre, Esin Durmus, and Claire Cardie. 2019. Persuasion of the Undecided: Language vs. the Listener. In Proceedings of the 6th Workshop on Argument Mining, pages 167–176, Florence, Italy. Association for Computational Linguistics.
Cite (Informal):
Persuasion of the Undecided: Language vs. the Listener (Longpre et al., 2019)
Copy Citation:
PDF:
https://aclanthology.org/W19-4519.pdf