Reducing Exclusionary Attitudes Through Interpersonal Conversation: Evidence from Three Field Experiments

Forthcoming, American Political Science Review

81 Pages Posted: 1 Apr 2020

See all articles by Joshua Kalla

Joshua Kalla

Yale University - Department of Political Science

David Broockman

Stanford University

Date Written: January 17, 2020

Abstract

Exclusionary attitudes — prejudice toward outgroups and opposition to policies that promote their well-being — are presenting challenges to democratic societies worldwide. Drawing on insights from psychology, we argue that non-judgmentally exchanging narratives in interpersonal conversations can facilitate durable reductions in exclusionary attitudes. We support this argument with evidence from three pre-registered field experiments targeting exclusionary attitudes toward unauthorized immigrants and transgender people. In these experiments, 230 canvassers conversed with 6,869 voters across 7 US locations. In Experiment 1, face-to-face conversations deploying arguments alone had no effects on voters’ exclusionary immigration policy or prejudicial attitudes, but otherwise identical conversations also including the non-judgmental exchange of narratives durably reduced exclusionary attitudes for at least four months (d = 0.08). Experiments 2 and 3, targeting transphobia, replicate these findings and support the scalability of this strategy (ds = 0.08, 0.04). Non-judgmentally exchanging narratives can help overcome the resistance to persuasion often encountered in discussions of these contentious topics.

Keywords: prejudice, field experiment, immigration, LGBT

Suggested Citation

Kalla, Joshua and Broockman, David, Reducing Exclusionary Attitudes Through Interpersonal Conversation: Evidence from Three Field Experiments (January 17, 2020). Forthcoming, American Political Science Review, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3532688

Joshua Kalla (Contact Author)

Yale University - Department of Political Science ( email )

Box 208269
New Haven, DC 06520-8269
United States

David Broockman

Stanford University ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
176
Abstract Views
732
rank
208,960
PlumX Metrics