On the Cognitive Parsimony of Paralogical Arguments and their Impact in Automated Persuasion: Findings and Lessons Learned for Building Automatic Counter-Arguers

In Online Lectures. pp. 1-14 (2023)
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Persuasive technologies can adopt several strategies to change the attitudes and behaviors of their users. In this work I synthesize the lessons learned from three empirical case studies on automated persuasion that have been carried out in the last decade in the contexts of: persuasive news recommendations, social robotics, and e-commerce, respectively. In particular, such studies have assessed, in the technological domain, the effects of nudging techniques relying on well known persuasive argumentation schemas and on framing strategies. In discussing the main findings, I will argue that the obtained persuasive effects are due to the fact that such techniques leverage on cognitive mechanisms that refer to the “system 1” types of automatic processes hypothesized in the context of the dual process theory of reasoning. As a consequence of this state of affairs, any automated persuasive systems (used for ethical purposes: e.g. suggesting good health habits) should be able to re-use these types of system 1 strategies in order to gradually take the users in an argumentation territory where system 2 processes can take place.

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Antonio Lieto
University of Turin


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