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

Staffan Himmelroos, Henrik Serup Christensen

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    4 Citations (Scopus)
    70 Downloads (Pure)

    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.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)135–155
    JournalActa Politica
    Volume55
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2020
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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