Can E-Democracy Increase       Civic Competence?       Arthur Lupia, Hal R Varian Collegiate Professor
A Familiar Plan Goal: Engage and inform the public Means: Education/exposure Theory:   “If we tell them what we know, ...
Opportunity Awaits…
A Common Result
An explanation…                  www.umich.edu/~lupia
OUR PROBLEMThe problem is not “them,”The problem is “us.”
“Our” Problem We misunderstand how  “they” make decisions We are mistaken how and  when “we” can persuade.
A Walk in the Woods
Necessary Conditions forPersuasion
Progress Guidelines Biology defines possibilities. Social scientific studies of persuasion reveal  requirements for succ...
Source: www.c2cinternet.org/index.php?id=185
Two Necessary ConditionsA. What do “they” want to know?   The battle for attentionB. Who will “they” believe?   The crea...
ATTENTION!
The Battle for Attention WM has a very limited capacity (Miller 1956: 7±2?) WM has a high decay rate (for most stimuli, ...
What Non-Scientific Audiences Want Make it close. Make it concrete and immediate. Make the desired outcome possible to ...
The Next Challenge:                 Fill in the Blank…
C. CredibilityBelieve it or Not…Its Essential
23 Oct 1892 Fliegende BlätterA Challenge...“duck”
…in the Political Context Politics entails conflicts not easily resolved. It yields language indeterminacy with a nasty ...
Math Class vs. Politics
Credibility For contested issues, high credibility is a must. Credibility is   domain-specific and   bestowed by the a...
Credibility in Strategic Contexts(Lupia & McCubbins 1998, Lupia & Menning 2009) Credibility =                          Pe...
We have a choiceWe can make presentations that please “us” and affirm “our”  values.   And blame the audience if it does ...
Opportunity Awaits…
Thank You!Arthur Lupia, Hal R Varian Collegiate Professor
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Lupia e democracy and civic competence

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4.5.12, Keynote III, Main Hall: Evolving Technologies and the Human Dimension of Attempts to Increase
Civic Competence (Arthur Lupia) #CeDEM12

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  • Thank you Frustration Math background Shoot both feet before leave the door Lets get to work Bring logic to it
  • We have this great device. It is powerful. We imagine all of the places we can take it. All the places we can go…
  • People ignore what you are presenting. The few people who pay attention do not think about what you have said. The few people who thought about it drew the wrong conclusion.
  • Let’s start by talking about the problem of voter competence. The idea that citizens is incompetent is an old one. For as long as people have debated the merits of democracy, there has been a tension between the virtues of mass participation and concerns about citizen competence. Today, the same questions linger. A common answer to these questions evokes the image of voters who so lack information that they cannot possibly be trusted to make important decisions.
  • Neither is what they appear to be. In what follows, I clarify what it takes to improve civic competence. In the process, I highlight basic principles that can make efforts to increase civic competence more effective and efficient.
  • Increasing competence entails changing physical phenomena. Thoughts and beliefs about the consequences of particular actions in particular situations. It requires a particular kind of belief change. It requires a particular kind of persuasion. Not any change will do. Biology defines the possibilities. Studies of learning, persuasion, and decision making reveal important guidelines for success. But political contexts pose special challenges. My research strategy is to integrate, in a logically-coherent manner, insights from fields such as political science, economics, social psychology and cognitive science to clarify the conditions under which civic competence can be improved.
  • A casual view of human communication treats utterances as if they allow ideas to travel from one mind to another unadulterated – as if the ideas motivating the utterance are absorbed en masse . Yet this view is contradicted by a basic fact about human communication – all but the simplest utterances are parsed . People assign meaning to a word, a sentence, a paragraph, a speech, by breaking it down and paying attention to some parts while ignoring many others. For example, when reading a newspaper or watching a television program, people vary in the attention that they pay to certain aspects of it, they do not simply consume all of the content as a whole – they pick the presentation apart. What I am saying now. What I am saying now. Now that you have some idea about how hard it can be to win the battle of attention, I want to ask you to think about the next stage – how elements of working memory are processed. I also want to introduce the idea that politics complicates the situation…
  • A picture is worth 1000 words. Why? A picture provides context. For most pictures, do not not have to explain what it is. Words are different. If you look in a dictionary, you will find that most have different meanings. If you have studied linguistics, you know that the meaning of any particular word is extremely context dependent – and this is true in most languages. If you have ever attempted to transcribe a conversation from an audio tape, you know that sounds recorded before and after a particular word are necessary to in fact recognize that word. True of language generally.
  • Politics presupposes conflict. Politics is collective decision making in circumstances where individual objectives cannot be achieved simultaneously. Therefore, politics presupposes disagreement . Everyone cannot have everything they want. This truth guarantees that people will sometimes disagree. Politics is the means that groups of people use to confront their disagreements. Some observers claim that politics is illegitimate because it causes disagreement. But this claim puts the causal arrow in the wrong direction; for if we are in a situation where disagreement is impossible, then the situation is not political.
  • Perhaps the biggest reason why standard theories of education cannot be applied directly to political contexts.
  • The point of this book clarifies how competence-generating mechanisms work. It’s preliminary goal is to steer those who want to build civic competence away from unreliable folk theories of learning. Its primary goal is to steer these same people towards a more productive and constructive way of thinking about building civic competence. With respect to deliberation, I believe that there are conditions in which it can have many of the effects that its advocates claim. I also find conditions under which deliberation can have no effect as well as effects that are counterproductive to its advocates’ aims. For deliberation, and for the construction of civic competence generally, the road to progress lies in learning how to tell the difference. Progress will come from arguments that bind themselves to practical relevance through a commitment to building from scientific discoveries.
  • We have this great device. It is powerful. We imagine all of the places we can take it. All the places we can go…
  • Lupia e democracy and civic competence

    1. 1. Can E-Democracy Increase Civic Competence? Arthur Lupia, Hal R Varian Collegiate Professor
    2. 2. A Familiar Plan Goal: Engage and inform the public Means: Education/exposure Theory:  “If we tell them what we know, they will change how they think and what they do.”
    3. 3. Opportunity Awaits…
    4. 4. A Common Result
    5. 5. An explanation… www.umich.edu/~lupia
    6. 6. OUR PROBLEMThe problem is not “them,”The problem is “us.”
    7. 7. “Our” Problem We misunderstand how “they” make decisions We are mistaken how and when “we” can persuade.
    8. 8. A Walk in the Woods
    9. 9. Necessary Conditions forPersuasion
    10. 10. Progress Guidelines Biology defines possibilities. Social scientific studies of persuasion reveal requirements for success.
    11. 11. Source: www.c2cinternet.org/index.php?id=185
    12. 12. Two Necessary ConditionsA. What do “they” want to know?  The battle for attentionB. Who will “they” believe?  The creation of credibility
    13. 13. ATTENTION!
    14. 14. The Battle for Attention WM has a very limited capacity (Miller 1956: 7±2?) WM has a high decay rate (for most stimuli, <1ms). To win, the carrying utterance must:  imply large ∆ in pleasure or pain (urgency)  prevail over proximate others  AD Baddeley, N Thomson, and M Buchanan (1975). “Word length and the structure of short-term memory.” J. Verbal Learning and Verbal Beh.14:575–589,1975, AD Baddeley (1999).Essentials of Human Memory. Psychology Press., N. Cowan (2001). “The magical number 4 in short-term memory: A reconsideration of mental storage capacity.” Behavioral and Brain Sci. 24:87–185.
    15. 15. What Non-Scientific Audiences Want Make it close. Make it concrete and immediate. Make the desired outcome possible to achieve
    16. 16. The Next Challenge: Fill in the Blank…
    17. 17. C. CredibilityBelieve it or Not…Its Essential
    18. 18. 23 Oct 1892 Fliegende BlätterA Challenge...“duck”
    19. 19. …in the Political Context Politics entails conflicts not easily resolved. It yields language indeterminacy with a nasty edge.  Words have multiple meanings.  Meanings are context-dependent.  Conflict brings incentives to manipulate context and meaning. Result: “communication games” with unusual incentives.  People have to work harder to learn.  Persuasion requires CREDIBILITY
    20. 20. Math Class vs. Politics
    21. 21. Credibility For contested issues, high credibility is a must. Credibility is  domain-specific and  bestowed by the audience. Credibility is a function of  Source attributes*  Message attributes  Contextual attributes*  Audience effects*
    22. 22. Credibility in Strategic Contexts(Lupia & McCubbins 1998, Lupia & Menning 2009) Credibility = Perceived interest proximity x Perceived relative expertise © 2010 Arthur Lupia
    23. 23. We have a choiceWe can make presentations that please “us” and affirm “our” values.  And blame the audience if it does not persuadeORWe can attempt to persuade people who are different than us  “Real” knowledge of the science of learning beats “idealized” fictions about how citizens learn.
    24. 24. Opportunity Awaits…
    25. 25. Thank You!Arthur Lupia, Hal R Varian Collegiate Professor

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