Proposal for the 2016 Pilot Study: Individual Listening Styles: Short Form of Listening Styles Profile-Revised (LSP-R8)

Given how democracy is based inherently on difference, it is no surprise that much research on political talk, during election seasons and beyond, has focused on exposure to disagreement (i.e., “hearing the other side,” Mutz, 2006). However, whether the individuals involved in the disagreement benefit from or are harmed by this exposure to disagreement may very well depend on how they approach such interactions. Scholarship in this area shows that exposure to disagreement, often facilitated by the heterogeneity of one’s social and political networks, does not have consistent effects (see Schmitt-Beck & Lup, 2013 for a recent review). On the one hand, network heterogeneity is positively associated with political participation (McLeod, Scheufele, & Moy, 1999) and expressing one’s opinion in various arenas (Krassa, 1990; Nir, 2011). On the other hand, an increase in viewpoints also can increase the perceived complexity of discussed issues and thereby impede own action or at least not make it more likely to happen (see Rojas, 2008).

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