Modeling Persuasion within Small Groups, with an Application to a Deliberative Field Experiment on U.S. Fiscal Policy

63 Pages Posted: 21 Nov 2014 Last revised: 23 Jan 2018

See all articles by Kevin M. Esterling

Kevin M. Esterling

University of California, Riverside (UCR) - Department of Political Science

Archon Fung

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS)

Taeku Lee

University of California, Berkeley - Charles and Louise Travers Department of Political Science; University of California, Berkeley - Berkeley Center on Comparative Equality & Anti-Discrimination Law

Date Written: January 15, 2018

Abstract

We propose a new method to measure persuasion within small groups, and apply this method to a large scale randomized deliberative experiment. We define persuasion as the systematic component of an individual's preference change that is due to discursive interpersonal interaction, and we measure this systematic component using a spatial model that captures dependence in policy preferences among participants randomly assigned to discussion groups. Our method separately measures persuasion in an ideological space from persuasion in a non-ideological, topic-specific space. The functional form of our model accommodates tests of substantive hypotheses found in the small group literature on small group polarization. To illustrate the methods we present an application in which we examine how changes in participants' policy views on U.S. fiscal policy in a large-scale randomized experiment resulted from the composition of the small discussion groups to which they were randomly assigned.

Keywords: Deliberation, Small Groups, Field Experiment, Bayesian Statistics

Suggested Citation

Esterling, Kevin M. and Fung, Archon and Lee, Taeku, Modeling Persuasion within Small Groups, with an Application to a Deliberative Field Experiment on U.S. Fiscal Policy (January 15, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2528273 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2528273

Kevin M. Esterling (Contact Author)

University of California, Riverside (UCR) - Department of Political Science ( email )

Riverside, CA 92521
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.politicalscience.ucr.edu/people/faculty/esterling/index.html

Archon Fung

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) ( email )

79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-495-9846 (Phone)
617-496-1722 (Fax)

Taeku Lee

University of California, Berkeley - Charles and Louise Travers Department of Political Science ( email )

210 Barrows Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720
United States

University of California, Berkeley - Berkeley Center on Comparative Equality & Anti-Discrimination Law

Boalt Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720-7200
United States

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
54
Abstract Views
883
rank
375,566
PlumX Metrics