Attitude Change on Reddit's Change My View

AbstractPeople generally ignore evidence that is contrary to their beliefs (Nickerson, 1998). To examine the factors that promotes attitude change with a fresh perspective, this study examined how people change their beliefs on a range of topics from gender identity to gun control on the Reddit forum Change My View. Specifically, we examine how people on Change My View cite evidence to change other people’s minds. As one would expect, we find that people are not easily convinced to change their beliefs about social and moral issues, and this occurs even though people cite considerably more evidence while discussing these issues. However, our data provides one source of optimism: We found that the amount of evidence provided in a thread positively correlates with attitude change, suggesting that while attitude change is hard-won, providing direct evidence may nonetheless be an effective persuasive tactic.

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