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University of Michigan School of Information


SBEE seminar series: Peter Schwardmann

10/27/2020, 10:00 am - 11:15 am

Self-Persuasion: Evidence from Field Experiments at Two International Debating Competitions

Abstract: Does the wish to convince others lead people to persuade themselves about the factual and moral superiority of their position? We investigate this question in field experiments at two international debating competitions that randomly assign persuasion goals (pro or contra a motion) to debaters. We find evidence for self-persuasion in incentivized measures of factual beliefs, attitudes, and confidence in one’s position. Self-persuasion occurs before the debate and remains after the debate. Our results lend support to interactionist accounts of cognition and suggest that the desire to persuade is an important driver of opinion formation.

Speaker Bio:

Peter Schwardman

Peter Schwardmann is a behavioural economist at LMU Munich. He works on belief formation and the consequences of belief biases in markets.

The Social, Behavioral and Experimental Economics seminar series is a joint presentation of the School of Information, the Ross School of Business and the LSA Department of Economics.

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