Small Group Persuasion at the OBOE Townhalls
18 Pages Posted: 16 Jul 2012 Last revised: 22 Aug 2012
Date Written: August 21, 2012
We use data from a large scale deliberative experiment to evaluate the dynamics of small group persuasion. We evaluate whether persuasion is driven by the ideological composition of small groups, and whether ideological persuasion tends to be polarizing. In addition, we test for the presence of persuasion that is net of ideological considerations, a residual form of preference change that we label "deliberative persuasion." In particular we test the extent of deliberative persuasion for liberals, moderates, and conservatives across a set of fiscal policy preference items. We argue that small group dynamics depend heavily on the context in which discussion occurs; that much of the small group experimental work pays little to no attention to this context; and that deliberative institutions are likely to ameliorate many of the pathologies that are often attributed to small group discussion.
Keywords: Deliberation, Persuasion, Field Experiment, Bayesian Analysis
JEL Classification: C93
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation