Knobloch, Barthel, and Gastil: Emanating Effects: The Impact of Microlevel Deliberation on the Public’s Political Attitudes

Professor Dr. Katherine R. Knobloch of Colorado State University, Michael Barthel of the University of Washington, and Professor Dr. John Gastil of Penn State University, presented a paper entitled Emanating Effects: The Impact of Microlevel Deliberation on the Public’s Political Attitudes, at ICA 2013: International Communication Association’s 63rd Annual Conference, held 17-21 June 2013 in London, England.

Here is the abstract:

Research indicates that deliberative “minipublics” — highly structured, face-to-face deliberative processes — can cause attitudinal and behavioral change for participants. But what if these processes influenced the wider public the way they reshape their participants? Deliberative minipublics connected to macro-level decision making may affect the attitudes of those who did not directly participate in the deliberation but are, nevertheless, highly aware of its structure and outcomes. The research presented herein tests this claim, using statewide survey data on the 2010 Oregon Citizens’ Initiative Review (CIR) to see if awareness and use of the CIR caused members of the electorate to alter their internal and external efficacy and deliberative faith. We find that simple awareness can lead to increased external efficacy for the wider public and that use of the CIR’s output can increase internal efficacy. Moreover, increased exposure and faith in such outputs can further increase internal and external efficacy.

For full text of the paper, please contact the authors.

The 2010 Oregon Citizens’ Initiative Reviews were public deliberations about ballot initiatives. See articles from Participedia about them here and here. For more information about the Oregon Citizens Initiative Review generally, please see the explainer at Healthy Democracy, and the Participedia article about it.

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