Why Won’t You Listen to Me? Measuring Receptiveness to Opposing Views

62 Pages Posted: 5 Dec 2018 Last revised: 4 Feb 2019

See all articles by Julia Minson

Julia Minson

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS)

Frances Chen

University of British Columbia

Catherine H. Tinsley

Georgetown University - Department of Management

Date Written: September 21, 2018

Abstract

We develop an 18-item self-report measure of receptiveness to opposing views. Studies 1a and 1b present the scale and report measures of internal, convergent, and discriminant validity. The scale consists of four factors, and is distinct from related measures. In Study 2, more receptive individuals (as measured by our scale) were more willing to consume information from US Senators representing the opposing party. In Study 3, more receptive individuals reported less mind wandering when viewing a speech with which they disagreed. In Study 4, more receptive individuals evaluated supporting and opposing policy arguments more impartially. In Study 5, more receptive liberal voters were more likely to watch President Trump’s inaugural address, evaluated the address in a more balanced manner, and were willing to consider a more heterogeneous selection of relevant news coverage. We discuss the scale as a tool to investigate the role of receptiveness for conflict, decision making, and collaboration.

Suggested Citation

Minson, Julia and Chen, Frances and Tinsley, Catherine H., Why Won’t You Listen to Me? Measuring Receptiveness to Opposing Views (September 21, 2018). HKS Working Paper No. RWP18-028, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3295946 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3295946

Julia Minson (Contact Author)

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

79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Frances Chen

University of British Columbia ( email )

Canada

Catherine H. Tinsley

Georgetown University - Department of Management ( email )

Rafik B Hariri Building
McDonough School of Business
Washington, DC 20057
United States
202-687-2524 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://explore.georgetown.edu/people/tinsleyc/

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