have been reading your recent posts on econlog about the lack of research on
debating tactics, and I wanted to propose a potential research avenue that you
or someone you know might be interested in.
moderate a forum on Reddit called "change my view" which is
essentially a debate forum, but specifically focused on people who have a view
but are open to changing it. As a part of the forum, we have a protocol
for people to note and reward changes in their views. Essentially, if
someone's post changes your view, you include a greek delta symbol in the
comment, and a bot comes around and gives the person who changed your view some
upshot of all this is that we have a tabulation of thousands of debates, and
thousands of posts within those debates which were effective at changing
someone's view. I don't know exactly how to methodologically turn that
into a useful conclusion about what's effective, but I figure you or one of
your students or colleagues might be interested in giving it a crack.
luck in your future debating endeavors.
Sample bias is the obvious problem. People who frequent this reddit are almost certainly unusual human beings. But I still like the idea. If anyone makes a serious go of it, I will blog it.