Prof. Magdalena Wocjieszak will give a presentation at Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona about political communication (friday, oct. 22nd.) 

This is the abstract for presentation:

“When Deliberation Divides: How People with Strong Views Respond to Political Disagreement”

“I examine two factors that may influence deliberative process and its outcomes: psychological processes related to biased processing and sociopolitical factors associated with mobilization to collective action. I draw on quasi experimental data from participants in face-to-face deliberations on sexual minority rights in Poland, Polish Dialogue Project, and mention a quasi-experimental design that involved online political debates in the U.S., Electronic Dialogue Project. I examine whether disagreement perceived during deliberation decreases – as deliberative theorists hope – or rather exacerbates – as psychological research predicts – extreme views. I also test whether extreme deliberators report that their views polarized and whether self-reported polarization is greater following deliberations seen as contentious. Third, I test whether perceived disagreement mobilizes extreme participants to political actions and evokes collective action frame.

As predicted, extreme deliberators who saw disagreement polarized on the discussed policies (e.g., sexual minorities in the teaching profession) and on issues generally related to sexual minorities (e.g., homosexuality being a sin) and also reported greater polarization. Moreover, disagreement encouraged extreme participants to public and confrontational actions. It also evoked a collective action frame, which further mobilized them to both communicative as well as to public and confrontational actions. While some theorists hope that deliberation may be applicable to bridging moral and ideological divides, these results suggest that it may sometimes result in polarized views and intensified conflicts”.


Professor in Public Opinion and Political Communication. Ph.D. in Communication, Annenberg School for Communication/University of Pennsylvania (US), MA in Sociology, Uniwersytet Warszawski (PL).

Her research interests include deliberation, polarization, collective action, social network heterogeneity, and also online discussion groups and their impact on attitudes, participation, and public opinion perception. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in Communication Research, Journal of Communication, Public Opinion Quarterly, International Journal of Public Opinion, New Media & Society, among other journals. She has also received several awards for research and teaching and has been included in the 2010 special edition of Who\’s Who\’s in America. She serves on the Editorial Board of Journal of Communication and \”EastBound\” and as a reviewer for various international journals.

To step beyond the academic ivory tower, Magdalena has worked in the media and as a media planner/buyer. Now she attempts to apply her knowledge to attenuating sociopolitical conflicts. Towards this end, she has been involved in a project on assessing public opinion in Darfur.


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