Carnegie Mellon University
November 03, 2020

SURF Student Crafts More Effective Political Arguments

By Michael Henninger

Jason Maderer
  • Marketing and Communications
  • 412-268-1151

As the political divide expands in the United States, one Carnegie Mellon University student's research explores a simple idea to bridge the gap — reframe political ideas using the other side's language.

Anirudh Narayanan developed an early interest in politics, running for positions in high school as class representative in Dover, Delaware. He applied to CMU and immediately accepted after receiving his Fat Letter. Now a senior majoring in behavioral economics, Narayanan is researching how language can influence the way a person receives political messages. 

This past summer, Narayanan received a Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship to pursue a project under the guidance of Danny Oppenheimer, a professor of psychology, and Simon Cullen, an assistant teaching professor of philosophy, both in the Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences. Narayanan helped craft political arguments that would be more persuasive by using the points of one's opposition, whether liberal or conservative, to introduce claims. 

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