Departmental Papers (ASC)

Document Type

Journal Article

Date of this Version

March 2002

Publication Source

American Political Science Review

Volume

96

Issue

1

Start Page

111

Last Page

126

DOI

10.1017/S0003055402004264

Abstract

Exposure to conflicting political viewpoints is widely assumed to benefit the citizens of a democratic polity. Nonetheless, the benefits of exposure to heterogeneous political viewpoints have yet to be demonstrated empirically. Drawing on national survey data that tap characteristics of people's political discussion networks, I examine the impact of heterogeneous networks of political discussion on individuals' awareness of legitimate rationales for oppositional viewpoints, on their awareness of rationales for their own viewpoints, and on levels of political tolerance. Finally, utilizing a laboratory experiment manipulating exposure to dissonant and consonant political views, I further substantiate the causal role of cross-cutting exposure in fostering political tolerance.

Copyright/Permission Statement

Copyright © 2002 by the American Political Science Association. Online at Cambridge Journals Online.

Comments

NOTE: At the time of publication, the author Diana C. Mutz was affiliated with Ohio State University. Currently, she is a faculty member of the Annenberg School for Communication.

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Date Posted: 10 June 2008

This document has been peer reviewed.