Mutual Receptiveness to Opposing Views Bridges Ideological Divides in Network Formation

70 Pages Posted: 24 Nov 2020

See all articles by Brian Reschke

Brian Reschke

Brigham Young University - Marriott School

Julia Minson

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS)

Hannah Riley Bowles

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS)

Mathijs De Vaan

University of California, Berkeley - Haas School of Business

Sameer B. Srivastava

University of California, Berkeley - Haas School of Business

Date Written: October 2, 2020

Abstract

We examine how an individual difference — receptiveness to opposing views — moderates the tendency for people to sort into ideologically homogeneous social groups. Although prior work has linked receptiveness to willingness to engage information from opposing ideological perspectives, its consequences for network formation have yet to be explored. Study 1 (N = 1,793) demonstrates in a lab setting that receptiveness is associated with forming relationships with ideologically opposed others. Yet preferences and relationship overtures are not always reciprocated. Study 2 (N = 599), a longitudinal field study conducted at three universities where students span the ideological spectrum, shows that individual receptiveness does not always translate into politically heterogeneous relationships. Instead, such relationships tend to form when two individuals are mutually receptive. Additionally, we find mutual receptiveness increases the likelihood that majority group members will initiate relationships with those in the minority. We discuss implications for research on personality and social networks.

Keywords: receptiveness, social networks, political ideology, homophily, group dynamics

Suggested Citation

Reschke, Brian and Minson, Julia and Bowles, Hannah Riley and De Vaan, Mathijs and Srivastava, Sameer B., Mutual Receptiveness to Opposing Views Bridges Ideological Divides in Network Formation (October 2, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3703958 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3703958

Brian Reschke (Contact Author)

Brigham Young University - Marriott School ( email )

United States

Julia Minson

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

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

Hannah Riley Bowles

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

79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-496-4717 (Phone)
617-496-2850 (Fax)

Mathijs De Vaan

University of California, Berkeley - Haas School of Business ( email )

545 Student Services Building, #1900
2220 Piedmont Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94720
United States

Sameer B. Srivastava

University of California, Berkeley - Haas School of Business ( email )

2220 Piedmont Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94720
United States
510-643-5922 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://faculty.haas.berkeley.edu/srivastava

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