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WorkgroupPerception and Action Lab
Duration07/2020 - 06/2023
FundingSondertatbestand Data Science
Project description

This project investigated the question whether software agents would be capable of depolarizing attitudes by adapting the presentation of content to the attitudes of readers (e.g., presenting someone who denies man-made climate change with information that provide evidence for anthropogenic influences on the climate).

To achieve this, two sub-goals were set. The first goal was to investigate theories of event cognition according to which processing depth and memory performance change when reader switch from reading attitudinally congenial to uncongenial content (and vice versa). The second goal was to replicate frequently published findings according to which uncongenial information is processed more deeply, resulting in longer reading time. Only if both goals would be achieved, an adaptive software agent would be conceivable in principle.

Across four studies we found evidence that switching from congenial to uncongenial information (and vice versa) indeed can change reading time. However, using different approaches none of the studies reported general systematic differences in reading times for congenial vs. uncongenial content. Therefore, the project was discontinued.

  • Prof. Dr. Hendrik Lensch, Computer Science, University of Tübingen