Thesis / Dissertation

Pro-attitudinal advocacy, depolarization, and communicative intentions: The role of self-persuasion

Ravini Savindya Abeywickrama, Simon Laham (ed.)

Published : 2020

Abstract

In the currently fractured attitudinal landscape, many people hold extreme attitudes on important socio-political issues and frequently advocate for their attitudes. As a result of advocating for one’s own attitudes, i.e., engaging in pro-attitudinal advocacy, people may unconsciously persuade themselves (i.e. self-persuade) to polarize further. Moreover, pro- attitudinal advocacy may lead to an unwillingness to engage with those on the opposite side of the attitude spectrum. Such processes may explain polarization in our electorates over time. Given that polarization leads to disrupted social cohesion, a critical question is how we might depolarize attitudes, and encourage open communicatio..

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