Work Package no. 3 – Online experiments – Period 1
WP 3 conducts online experiments in Romania regarding citizens’ receptivity to various narrative frames, facts and norms in discussing minorities and politics.
The main objective of the WP was to test theoretical expectations about changes in citizens’ expression of anti-democratic intolerant discourse (ADID) towards various groups in experiments and focus groups when the narrative frame makes various references to anti-prejudice and democratic norms using different narrative frames and attributing the narrative to different actors. This allowed us to examine what narrative frames and actors, if any, are most likely to substantially reduce the expression of ADID towards various groups in Romania.
Impact of elite discourse on citizens’ attitudes:
- Online experiments conducted during the presidential and parliamentary election campaigns in 2014 and 2016, respectively, revealed that exposure to positive statements from politicians, taking unifying, pro-minority or pro-democratic statements, can, at least for a short time, cause citizens to express more Roma-friendly and pro-democratic attitudes.
- In fact, the 2016 experiments revealed that even competing elite statements (both more positive and more negative) elicited more tolerant reactions from citizens.
- Taken together, the experimental results confirm the power of elite discourse and suggest that citizens express more open- and democracy-minded views when encouraged to reflect and deliberate on these issues, as opposed to following their initial, gut reaction.
Effects of framing on the expression of intolerance (survey-embedded experiments)
- A report on several survey-embedded experiments examined whether framing questions in a more positive or negative way towards a minority elicits different reactions to what is the essentially same proposition. The results showed that in some cases, at least, using a pro-minority wording elicited more positive reactions. In other cases, the same effect was achieved with the opposite type of framing: exposing respondents to the more negative statement appeared to trigger a recognition that the target-group is regularly disparaged, and the respondents become more likely to express minority-friendly views.
Less Hate, More Speech – Youngsters Get Involved!
The project is run by Median Research Centre (MRC) in partnership with Educ Association and targets young people between 12 and 17 years old, in order to help them better identify and react to online and offline hate speech.
More, on the project’s website.