Ideology, Attitude Change, and Deliberation in Small Face-to-Face Groups

John Gastil, Laura Black, Kara Moscovitz
2008 Political Communication  
Previous research has found that face-to-face deliberation can result in aggregate shifts in participants' political views. What is less well known is how such attitude changes vary depending on individual attributes and the nature of a group's deliberation. The present study extends prior research by exploring the relationship between participant ideology and attitude change in small, face-to-face groups. To test a set of hypotheses and research questions, 57 zero-history groups discussed
more » ... oups discussed three different public problems for 30-60 minutes, and each participant completed pre-and postdiscussion questionnaires. Participant ideology had a clear association with changes on specific discussion-related issues, but participants from every ideological group experienced increased differentiation between ideologically distinct attitudes. Within-group variance in attitude change was positively correlated with average group scores on self-reported measures of deliberation, extraversion, and conscientiousness. The conclusion discusses these and other findings in relation to future research and public deliberation programs.
doi:10.1080/10584600701807836 fatcat:a4nvw7gy5rg37iejq7k2c7qfoe