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What Happened on Deliberation Day?

22 Pages Posted: 26 Jun 2006  

David Schkade

University of California, San Diego

Cass R. Sunstein

Harvard Law School; Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS)

Reid Hastie

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business

Date Written: June 2006

Abstract

What are the effects of deliberation about political issues? This essay reports the results of a kind of Deliberation Day, involving sixty-three citizens in Colorado. Groups from Boulder, a predominantly liberal city, met and discussed global warming, affirmative action, and civil unions for same-sex couples; groups from Colorado Springs, a predominately conservative city, met to discuss the same issues. The major effect of deliberation was to make group members more extreme than they were when they started to talk. Liberals became more liberal on all three issues; conservatives became more conservative. As a result, the division between the citizens of Boulder and the citizens of Colorado Springs were significantly increased as a result of intragroup deliberation. Deliberation also increased consensus, and dampened diversity, within the groups. Implications are explored for the uses and structure of deliberation in general.

Keywords: politics, political issues, deliberation, liberal, conservative

Suggested Citation

Schkade, David and Sunstein, Cass R. and Hastie, Reid, What Happened on Deliberation Day? (June 2006). U Chicago Law & Economics, Olin Working Paper No. 298; AEI-Brookings Joint Center Working Paper No. 06-19. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=911646 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.911646

David Schkade

University of California, San Diego ( email )

Rady School of Management
9500 Gilman Drive
La Jolla, CA 92093
United States
858-822-5933 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://management.ucsd.edu/cms/showcontent.aspx?ContentID=89

Cass Sunstein (Contact Author)

Harvard Law School ( email )

1575 Massachusetts Ave
Areeda Hall 225
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-496-2291 (Phone)

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

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

Reid Hastie

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business ( email )

5807 S. Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

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