2015 Student Research Conference:
28th Annual Student Research Conference

Effects of Polarized Opinions on Moderately-Opinionated Individuals
Joshua D. Simons*, Caleb J. Scarborough, Yu Men, and Daniel R. Robison
Prof. Sal Costa, Faculty Mentor

An individual holding a moderate opinion will tend to be polarized after receiving influence from an individual with a preexisting polarized opinion. To test this, participants will complete a two-sided self-analysis scale asking where their opinions stand on three topics: political stance, tobacco-free college campuses, and the adoption of a plus-minus grading scale. After this assessment, they will be assigned groups based upon their responses, pairing two moderately-answering individuals with two polarized opinions of the same side. These groups will be instructed to discuss their positions on one of the topics and some of the reasons they hold said opinion. Once the discussion period has been completed, participants will be given the same self-assessment they previously completed in order to record any polarizing effects the discussion had on the moderately-opinionated individuals. The participants will then be sent through the same scenario for the remaining two topics.

Keywords: 

Topic(s):Psychology

Presentation Type: Poster

Session: 10-6
Location: GEO-SUB
Time: 3:30

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