The potential of deliberative reasoning: patterns of attitude change and consistency in cross-cutting and like-minded deliberation

A1 Journal article (refereed)


Internal Authors/Editors


Publication Details

List of Authors: Staffan Himmelroos, Henrik Serup Christensen
Publication year: 2018
Journal: Acta Politica
Start page: 1
End page: 21


Abstract

Previous studies have found that deliberative practices such as
mini-publics produce opinion changes among participants. Nevertheless,
the underlying mechanisms and whether these conform to deliberative
ideals have received much less attention. This is problematic since
research on public opinion and political psychology suggests that
political opinions often are unstable or driven by prior notions. For
this reason, we examine the underlying mechanisms of change in opinions
and attitude consistency. We do so with data from an experiment with two
deliberative treatments—cross-cutting and like-minded discussions—as
well as a control group, where no deliberation took place to be able to
determine whether deliberation actually cause the observed changes. The
results suggest that participants in cross-cutting deliberation are more
willing to change opinions, even when they have prior experiences with
discussing the topic at hand, which is in line with deliberative theory,
but attitude consistency is largely unaffected by the deliberations.


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