TO YELL OR NOT TO YELL? Twitter study says loud wins out over fa - KMSP-TV

TO YELL OR NOT TO YELL? Twitter study says loud wins out over facts

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To yell or not to yell? That is the question when it comes to winning an argument online -- especially in the realm of sports.

A study out of Washington State University suggests being confident and loud may be the best way to win a debate -- even if you don't have your facts straight. Researchers drew their conclusions after analyzing more than a billion tweets during sporting events like the Super Bowl.

The study suggests confidence can trump accuracy on social media sites, and shouting can earn popularity points when it comes to sporting topics on Twitter. That said, pulling a Ron Gardenhire may not work well in a debate or at home.

Good ol' Gardy is a classic example of someone who knows how to pitch a fit. The Twins manager knows how to shout it out for his umpires in more ways than one. He's not afraid to get in someone's face and can go from kicking dust to biting it.

Remember last April when Minnesota took on the Yankees? Gardy got heated and got kicked out of the game for his hot temper. Yet amusing as Gardy's huffs are, the fact that they backfire contradicts the WSU study.

Although the study suggests that seeming confident and raising your voice is the best way to win an argument even when you're wrong, debate experts have their doubts.

"Being louder, being more certain is not as helpful as you might think," said Sheila Peterson, director of debate at Wayzata High School.

While Peterson assuredness and volume can be persuasive, it's important to never underestimate your opponent's intellect -- especially if you already tend to be loud.

"I knew, if they were even raising their volume further, it was because that's all they had going on in the first place," Peterson observed.

Vocal oomph worked for Haley Larson when she was a freshman on the Wayzata High School Policy Debate team.

"Being loud and confident really spelled out to the judge that I knew what I was talking about, even when I didn't," she said.

Larson and her classmate, Blaize DePass, are both juniors now. At this level, the policy debate game has changed for both of them.

"Being intellectual as opposed to being loud is more important," DePass said.

Ultimately, the tactic may depend on two things -- arena and execution. Think about Michele Bachmann.

"There were a lot of reports of the inaccuracy of her claims, and yet she certainly had a lot of people following her and they definitely found her entertaining," Peterson said. "She was confident."

Out on the street arena, Tom Hammes told FOX 9 News said victory is secured "when someone has a good point and says something I haven't considered."

Meanwhile, husbands like Ben Eklo say if the arena is the home front, he'd rather keep it cool.

"I don't think if I went off like Gardy at home my wife would appreciate it too much," he said.

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