Download this Paper Open PDF in Browser

Deliberative Ripples: The Network Effects of Political Events

22 Pages Posted: 10 Aug 2010  

David Lazer

Northeastern University - Department of Political Science; Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS)

Anand E. Sokhey

University of Colorado at Boulder - Department of Political Science

Michael A. Neblo

Ohio State University (OSU) - Department of Political Science

Kevin M. Esterling

University of California, Riverside (UCR) - Department of Political Science

Date Written: August 10, 2010

Abstract

What are the ripple effects from structured deliberation sessions? To better understand the potential aggregate consequences of these (somewhat limited) opportunities, we focus on the social networks of participants, looking for the informational consequences of second-hand exposure. We report on the results of a field experiment in which randomly selected constituents attended a deliberative session with a U.S. Senator. Pre and post session data were collected from participants – as well as control subjects – regarding interpersonal political discussion networks.

We evaluate whether the encounter spurred increased political discussion among named discussants, and whether certain factors moderated these rates of political talk. Our results indicate that attending the deliberative session increased discussion of specific issues, and that spouses were especially likely targets for discussion. Importantly, follow-up surveys indicate that these ripple effects lasted for months after the initial encounter.

Keywords: Social influence, contagion, deliberation

Suggested Citation

Lazer, David and Sokhey, Anand E. and Neblo, Michael A. and Esterling, Kevin M., Deliberative Ripples: The Network Effects of Political Events (August 10, 2010). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1656553 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1656553

David Lazer (Contact Author)

Northeastern University - Department of Political Science ( email )

Boston, MA 02115
United States
617-373-2796 (Phone)
617-373-5311 (Fax)

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) ( email )

79 John F. Kennedy Street
Taubman Center
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-496-0102 (Phone)
617-496-1722 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.davidlazer.com

Anand E. Sokhey

University of Colorado at Boulder - Department of Political Science ( email )

333 UCB
Boulder, CO 80309-0333
United States

Michael A. Neblo

Ohio State University (OSU) - Department of Political Science ( email )

Columbus, OH 43210
United States

Kevin M. Esterling

University of California, Riverside (UCR) - Department of Political Science ( email )

Riverside, CA 92521
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.politicalscience.ucr.edu/people/faculty/esterling/index.html

Paper statistics

Downloads
66
Rank
291,028
Abstract Views
618