Date Posted: 11/04/2016

Recent CS PhD alum Chenhao Tan was interviewed on the You Are Not So Smart podcast, episode 86: "Change My View," hosted by BoingBoing and reaching about 100,000 people an episode.  Election season has also brought additional media mentions on the topic of persuasion research in the Washington Post (Fact check: This is not really a post-fact election) and Business Insider (How to change someone's mind, according to scientists who studied debates on Reddit).

From the podcast blurb:  "For computer scientist Chenhao Tan and his  coauthors CS PhD student Vlad Niculae, IS professor Cristian Danescu-Niculescu-Mizil, and Lillian Lee the internet community called Change My View offered something amazing, a ready-made natural experiment that had been running for years.

All they had to do was feed it into the programs they had designed to understand the back-and-forth between human beings and then analyze the patterns that emerged. When they did that, they discovered two things: what kind of arguments are most likely to change people's minds and what kinds of minds are most likely to be changed.

In this episode you’ll hear from the co-founder of Reddit, the moderators of Change My View, and the scientists studying how people argue on the internet as we explore what it takes to change people's perspective and whether the future of our online lives is ever thicker filter bubbles or the increasingly effective process of whittling away our worst ideas."