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  • Congress can get better marks with nonpartisan forums, study shows

    Boston Globe - 03/27/2015

    A new study analyzing how people are influenced by members of Congress indicates a nonpartisan dialogue about controversial issues like immigration can have a powerful effect on voters.

    “Basically, we wanted to see what impact being in an online town hall would have on constituents and what in particular moved attitudes toward the member of Congress,” said David Lazer, coauthor of the study and professor of political science at Northeastern University.

    The first-of-its-kind study, published online last week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, showed members of Congress were able to persuade constituents to adopt viewpoints closer to their own after the online question-and-answer sessions.

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