If you read newspaper op-ed columns, you should know a new study finds evidence that such pieces can change your mind about the issues they discuss. Published in the Quarterly Journal of Political Science, researchers found that op-ed pieces had large and long-lasting effects on people's views among both the general public and policy experts. Alexander Coppock, assistant professor of political science at Yale and the study's lead author adds, "We found that op-ed pieces have a lasting effect on people's views regardless of their political affiliation or their initial stance on an issue. People read an argument and were persuaded by it. It's that simple." Researchers concluded that op-eds are a cost effective way to sway people's views. Of course, ultimately its the newspaper's editorial board that makes the decision which op ed pieces will run and people are rightly skeptical that both sides of an issue are represented fairly on a consistent basis.


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