• This is a political forum that is non-biased/non-partisan and treats every person's position on topics equally. This debate forum is not aligned to any political party. In today's politics, many ideas are split between and even within all the political parties. Often we find ourselves agreeing on one platform but some topics break our mold. We are here to discuss them in a civil political debate. If this is your first visit to our political forums, be sure to check out the RULES. Registering for debate politics is necessary before posting. Register today to participate - it's free!

Caught in a political echo chamber? Listening to the opposition can make partisanship even worse

exoplanet

DP Veteran
Joined
Feb 25, 2017
Messages
1,893
Reaction score
992
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
Basically, they paid people on twitter a small sum to follow a bot that spouted political views that were opposed to their own. They asked them the same 10 questions about their political beliefs before and after the study to see if anything shifted. Things got "worse".

Per the Los Angeles Times
Dwelling in a political echo chamber — where you only encounter people who agree with you — is hardly conducive to a healthy democracy.

But it turns out that broadening your horizons by perusing opposing points of view on social media may just make the partisan divide worse.

That’s the depressing result of an unusual experiment involving 909 Democrats and 751 Republicans who spend a lot of time on Twitter.

“Attempts to introduce people to a broad range of opposing political views on a social media site such as Twitter might be not only ineffective but counterproductive,” researchers reported this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
...
They already knew people become more inclined to compromise on political issues when they spend time with people who hold opposing views. Face-to-face meetings can override negative stereotypes about our adversaries, paving the way for negotiation.

But whether these dynamics would extend to virtual interactions through social media was unknown.
....
Compared to the Democrats who did not follow the conservative bot, those who did “exhibited slightly more liberal attitudes.” The more they had paid attention to the bot’s retweets (as measured by additional surveys), the more liberal their attitudes became. However, none of these changes were large enough to be statistically significant.

It was a different story for Republicans. Compared to those who did not follow the liberal bot, those who did “exhibited substantially more conservative views” after just one month. The greater the number of liberal tweets the Republicans absorbed, the more conservative they became. These results were statistically significant.

In other words, the experiment backfired.
In a world where people interact more and more online, we may be inclined to become more and more isolated and we can't just blame it on the tendency to create our own echo chambers. IMHO, it's a product of the dehumanization of online interaction. So, the more you see depersonalized viewpoints online, the easier it is to demonize the opposition.

I work with a lot of people that have vastly different political views than myself. I do think that it helps humanize your ideas of what people are like. If you ignore the political beliefs, they are not that much different than you. But at the same time, it is very difficult to have actual political discussions in that environment. The flip side is a place like this, which I think has way more potential than twitter (whose character limit is very counterproductive,IMO), but it doesn't seem like people take the opportunity to humanize themselves or accept the humanity of others.

Not trying to be preachy here. Can't say that when I see some avatar or sig designed to troll a person like me, that I can just ignore it and see that poster as someone with a family and friends other interests that I might share with them. Who knows, if we met in some neutral environment in person, they might actually *gasp* be polite and friendly to me instead of insulting me right off the bat.

What do you folks think? Are you getting more and more "liberal" or "conservative" by spending time on here? Is this study inherently limited by the cesspool of twitter?
 

Exquisitor

Educator
Supporting Member
DP Veteran
Monthly Donator
Joined
Jun 16, 2014
Messages
8,626
Reaction score
1,429
Location
UP of Michigan
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Independent
Basically, they paid people on twitter a small sum to follow a bot that spouted political views that were opposed to their own. They asked them the same 10 questions about their political beliefs before and after the study to see if anything shifted. Things got "worse".

Per the Los Angeles Times

In a world where people interact more and more online, we may be inclined to become more and more isolated and we can't just blame it on the tendency to create our own echo chambers. IMHO, it's a product of the dehumanization of online interaction. So, the more you see depersonalized viewpoints online, the easier it is to demonize the opposition.

I work with a lot of people that have vastly different political views than myself. I do think that it helps humanize your ideas of what people are like. If you ignore the political beliefs, they are not that much different than you. But at the same time, it is very difficult to have actual political discussions in that environment. The flip side is a place like this, which I think has way more potential than twitter (whose character limit is very counterproductive,IMO), but it doesn't seem like people take the opportunity to humanize themselves or accept the humanity of others.

Not trying to be preachy here. Can't say that when I see some avatar or sig designed to troll a person like me, that I can just ignore it and see that poster as someone with a family and friends other interests that I might share with them. Who knows, if we met in some neutral environment in person, they might actually *gasp* be polite and friendly to me instead of insulting me right off the bat.

What do you folks think? Are you getting more and more "liberal" or "conservative" by spending time on here? Is this study inherently limited by the cesspool of twitter?

I can always get the pulse on an issue by reading here.
 

Cardinal

Respected On All Sides
DP Veteran
Joined
Jun 20, 2008
Messages
88,999
Reaction score
70,025
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
That's the backfire effect. It guarantees that if you want to convince somebody that their beliefs are incorrect, giving them opposing facts isn't the way to do it. That's because we're hardwired to be tribalistic, not rational. When you "prove" to somebody that their claims are wrong, what you are unintentionally doing is telling them that the tribe they belong to, which holds similar beliefs. is wrong.

If you want to convince somebody that their beliefs or claims are wrong, you have to do it in a way that breaks through the tribal barrier. That kind of psychological jujitsu is so far over my pay grade I've never even attempted it. I wouldn't even know where to start.
 
Last edited:

Exquisitor

Educator
Supporting Member
DP Veteran
Monthly Donator
Joined
Jun 16, 2014
Messages
8,626
Reaction score
1,429
Location
UP of Michigan
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Independent
That's the backfire effect. It guarantees that if you want to convince somebody that their beliefs are incorrect, giving them opposing facts isn't the way to do it. That's because we're hardwired to be tribalistic, not rational.

We're ignorant.
 

Cardinal

Respected On All Sides
DP Veteran
Joined
Jun 20, 2008
Messages
88,999
Reaction score
70,025
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Undisclosed

Exquisitor

Educator
Supporting Member
DP Veteran
Monthly Donator
Joined
Jun 16, 2014
Messages
8,626
Reaction score
1,429
Location
UP of Michigan
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Independent
No, we're tribal. Ignorance is curable. The human need to belong to groups for protection is primordial.

The need to jump up and down together? To put all your energy into something and make it something out of nothing?
 

Skeptic Bob

DP Veteran
Joined
Oct 6, 2014
Messages
16,626
Reaction score
19,488
Location
Texas
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Libertarian - Left
Multiple studies indicating the same behavior offline have been done as well, unfortunately.
 

Exquisitor

Educator
Supporting Member
DP Veteran
Monthly Donator
Joined
Jun 16, 2014
Messages
8,626
Reaction score
1,429
Location
UP of Michigan
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Independent
Multiple studies indicating the same behavior offline have been done as well, unfortunately.

I'm more into re-programing my DNA and finding creative courses.
 

exoplanet

DP Veteran
Joined
Feb 25, 2017
Messages
1,893
Reaction score
992
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
That's the backfire effect. It guarantees that if you want to convince somebody that their beliefs are incorrect, giving them opposing facts isn't the way to do it. That's because we're hardwired to be tribalistic, not rational. When you "prove" to somebody that their claims are wrong, what you are unintentionally doing is telling them that the tribe they belong to, which holds similar beliefs. is wrong.

If you want to convince somebody that their beliefs or claims are wrong, you have to do it in a way that breaks through the tribal barrier. That kind of psychological jujitsu is so far over my pay grade I've never even attempted it. I wouldn't even know where to start.
Emotional appeals do seem to be more persuasive, unfortunately.

I've long felt that some beliefs are just hardwired by people's values. Some of them are inherently subjective. Is it right to punish a murderer with death? At what point does a clump of cells become a human being? There are things I've learned not to argue about because facts are irrelevant.

But I have held out hope that there are some things that could be objectively proven. The more time I spend on here, the more I have to question that hope.
 

Xelor

Banned
DP Veteran
Joined
Apr 20, 2018
Messages
10,257
Reaction score
4,161
Location
Washington, D.C.
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
Attempts to introduce people to a broad range of opposing political views on a social media site such as Twitter might be not only ineffective but counterproductive.

Red (from the article):
  • Political views are presumably conclusions based on sound/cogent arguments for them and that derive from a coherent set of principles.
    • With regard to the political views the current GOP party and its leader hold, which of them upon which they are acting derives from a sound/cogent arguments for them and that are coherent with regard to a set of equally coherent principles? None that I've heard aired in the past three years.
      • Note: I specifically note the GOP because they currently hold sway in two -- and likely soon, three -- of the three branches of the federal government and in most state-level governments. Were the Dems in power, I'd ask the same question of them.
  • Why anyone would seek political input on a social media site like Twitter is beyond me. How, in 240 or fewer characters, is one supposed to get a full and clear picture of any political position and the best argument for it?
 

exoplanet

DP Veteran
Joined
Feb 25, 2017
Messages
1,893
Reaction score
992
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
Red (from the article):
  • Political views are presumably conclusions based on sound/cogent arguments for them and that derive from a coherent set of principles.
    • I can't say that about either major party in the US. They are a hodgepodge of appeasements to political blocs that hate each other less than the folks in the other party. I'd venture that most people think our political system is broken, but no one seems ready to fix it. IMO, it would take serious reform of how our democracy works so that we can have a healthy multiparty system.
 

Mycroft

Genius is where you find it.
DP Veteran
Joined
Oct 27, 2011
Messages
81,985
Reaction score
34,870
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Conservative
Basically, they paid people on twitter a small sum to follow a bot that spouted political views that were opposed to their own. They asked them the same 10 questions about their political beliefs before and after the study to see if anything shifted. Things got "worse".

Per the Los Angeles Times

In a world where people interact more and more online, we may be inclined to become more and more isolated and we can't just blame it on the tendency to create our own echo chambers. IMHO, it's a product of the dehumanization of online interaction. So, the more you see depersonalized viewpoints online, the easier it is to demonize the opposition.

I work with a lot of people that have vastly different political views than myself. I do think that it helps humanize your ideas of what people are like. If you ignore the political beliefs, they are not that much different than you. But at the same time, it is very difficult to have actual political discussions in that environment. The flip side is a place like this, which I think has way more potential than twitter (whose character limit is very counterproductive,IMO), but it doesn't seem like people take the opportunity to humanize themselves or accept the humanity of others.

Not trying to be preachy here. Can't say that when I see some avatar or sig designed to troll a person like me, that I can just ignore it and see that poster as someone with a family and friends other interests that I might share with them. Who knows, if we met in some neutral environment in person, they might actually *gasp* be polite and friendly to me instead of insulting me right off the bat.

What do you folks think? Are you getting more and more "liberal" or "conservative" by spending time on here? Is this study inherently limited by the cesspool of twitter?

Twitter attracts twidiots.
 

spud_meister

Veni, vidi, dormivi!
DP Veteran
Joined
Nov 6, 2009
Messages
36,245
Reaction score
21,649
Location
Didjabringabeeralong
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Communist
Of course, we've known for a while that cognitive dissonance reinforces held beliefs. Unless you approach opposing views with an open frame of mind, you're just going to end up reinforcing your own position.
 

Logician Man

DP Veteran
Joined
Jul 23, 2018
Messages
31,111
Reaction score
13,107
Location
taking the gutter trash to curbside for disposal
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Independent
Basically, they paid people on twitter a small sum to follow a bot that spouted political views that were opposed to their own. They asked them the same 10 questions about their political beliefs before and after the study to see if anything shifted. Things got "worse".

Per the Los Angeles Times

In a world where people interact more and more online, we may be inclined to become more and more isolated and we can't just blame it on the tendency to create our own echo chambers. IMHO, it's a product of the dehumanization of online interaction. So, the more you see depersonalized viewpoints online, the easier it is to demonize the opposition.

I work with a lot of people that have vastly different political views than myself. I do think that it helps humanize your ideas of what people are like. If you ignore the political beliefs, they are not that much different than you. But at the same time, it is very difficult to have actual political discussions in that environment. The flip side is a place like this, which I think has way more potential than twitter (whose character limit is very counterproductive,IMO), but it doesn't seem like people take the opportunity to humanize themselves or accept the humanity of others.

Not trying to be preachy here. Can't say that when I see some avatar or sig designed to troll a person like me, that I can just ignore it and see that poster as someone with a family and friends other interests that I might share with them. Who knows, if we met in some neutral environment in person, they might actually *gasp* be polite and friendly to me instead of insulting me right off the bat.

What do you folks think? Are you getting more and more "liberal" or "conservative" by spending time on here? Is this study inherently limited by the cesspool of twitter?

'Skeptic B-b' started a thread in one of the sub-forums a few days ago asking people to share what the 'perfect night' alone was for any given member. Members of all political ideologies put their personal political biases on the back burner in that thread,and I know I learned some things about other members that both surprised me in a good way,and somewhat renewed my hope that someday we will all get along better,as,at the end of the day,we are all in this American thing together,and I'm extremely glad to be a part of it.
 

HumblePi

DP Veteran
Joined
Sep 3, 2018
Messages
24,128
Reaction score
15,634
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Centrist
Speaking only on a personal level, I have been a member of a forum for more than two years. It's a closed forum so there's never any trolling there. We are all non-Trumpers. We share a lot of information primarily breaking news, historical information about N. Korea, Syria, Turkey, Israel and of course, Russia. We're all up on the latest news. There is no fighting, no name calling, polite disagreement is extremely rare, but it's polite.

I left my comfort zone the past two days and joined four different political forums. I was a bit stunned at the anger, frustration, animosity and just plain evilness that I've seen, read and encountered in the past two days. It was more than I've experienced in two years. But, it's a learning experience for me. Hopefully I will correct inaccuracies, refute outright lies and hopefully be able to keep my head about it because it's not my style to attack but it is my impulse to fight back if I have to with someone that's ignorant. I'm not prejudice at all except for one thing, I can't tolerate stupid people.
 

Acadia

DP Veteran
Joined
Jan 14, 2018
Messages
18,535
Reaction score
12,545
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Private
IME, liberals tend to want echo chambers in lieu of debate over opposing views.
 

Exquisitor

Educator
Supporting Member
DP Veteran
Monthly Donator
Joined
Jun 16, 2014
Messages
8,626
Reaction score
1,429
Location
UP of Michigan
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Independent
Twitter attracts twidiots.

According to the Hare Krishna we're in an age of quarrel and the political discussion is a fight not a co-operation and being in meat-eating and ignorance we act this out in a base manner.

According to the Hare Krishna this age lasts another 427,000 years, but the "I AM seems to indicate the dates were lost and it's not 12:05am but morning already; 3:51am time to get up for Mangala Artik. Kalki should be here by 162,000 years.

You can imagine how the Hare Krishnas are jumping up and down with the Christians who do same thing in their political expression thinking their Lord appeared 5,000 years ago.
 

HumblePi

DP Veteran
Joined
Sep 3, 2018
Messages
24,128
Reaction score
15,634
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Centrist
IME, liberals tend to want echo chambers in lieu of debate over opposing views.

That's a gas-lighting statement if I've ever heard one. This is not true at all. Us 'liberals' are always willing to share the knowledge we have but usually Trump supporters don't want to acknowledge truth.
 

Exquisitor

Educator
Supporting Member
DP Veteran
Monthly Donator
Joined
Jun 16, 2014
Messages
8,626
Reaction score
1,429
Location
UP of Michigan
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Independent
That's a gas-lighting statement if I've ever heard one. This is not true at all. Us 'liberals' are always willing to share the knowledge we have but usually Trump supporters don't want to acknowledge truth.

Moreover they want to take a point or statistic and run with your tribal programming.
 

Cardinal

Respected On All Sides
DP Veteran
Joined
Jun 20, 2008
Messages
88,999
Reaction score
70,025
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
The need to jump up and down together? To put all your energy into something and make it something out of nothing?

Call it what you like, but consider two things:

1)We don't choose our tribes. We are born into them.
2)Before you expect others to denounce their own tribes too much, ask yourself whether you would go out onto the Serengetti by yourself armed only with a spear against saber toothed tigers, giant sloths and giant crocodiles, comfort in the knowledge that you are a rational being? Or would you rather survive in the Serengetti with the aid of an entire tribe at your back, even if they are irrational beings?

When you attack other people's beliefs, you are attacking their tribe. And when you attack their tribe, you are unknowingly asking them to leave that tribe and face the Serengetti by themselves. This is the programming in the deepest parts of our brains.
 

Mycroft

Genius is where you find it.
DP Veteran
Joined
Oct 27, 2011
Messages
81,985
Reaction score
34,870
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Conservative
According to the Hare Krishna we're in an age of quarrel and the political discussion is a fight not a co-operation and being in meat-eating and ignorance we act this out in a base manner.

According to the Hare Krishna this age lasts another 427,000 years, but the "I AM seems to indicate the dates were lost and it's not 12:05am but morning already; 3:51am time to get up for Mangala Artik. Kalki should be here by 162,000 years.

You can imagine how the Hare Krishnas are jumping up and down with the Christians who do same thing in their political expression thinking their Lord appeared 5,000 years ago.

I have no idea what you are talking about...or why it is relevant to my comment.
 

TobyOne

I am the pretty one.
DP Veteran
Joined
Jun 24, 2014
Messages
6,024
Reaction score
2,096
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
You can't change views in a tweet. The study is interesting but predictable. Online the best you can do is point out hypocrisy and logical flaws.

You can't teach a pig to sing but you can show a pig that he can't sing.
 

Exquisitor

Educator
Supporting Member
DP Veteran
Monthly Donator
Joined
Jun 16, 2014
Messages
8,626
Reaction score
1,429
Location
UP of Michigan
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Independent
I have no idea what you are talking about...or why it is relevant to my comment.

It's not relevant to your comment; yours was the last on the page.
 

HumblePi

DP Veteran
Joined
Sep 3, 2018
Messages
24,128
Reaction score
15,634
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Centrist
Moreover they want to take a point or statistic and run with your tribal programming.

There's legitimate criticism of media bias but what has happened is that the criticism has morphed into delegitimization of all fact based journalism. If I say "well here are the facts, this is what's going on", Trump supporters will say "well we don't believe it from your source." We are now officially in a post-truth world and in that post-truth world we get Donald Trump as president of the United States.
 
Top Bottom