Extreme Opinions in Groups

The language of extremity (Van Swol, Prahl, Kolb, Acosta-Lewis, & Carlson)

This project examines how people with extreme opinions use language differently and use language to influence. In support of the illusion of understanding and Tetlock’s work on political decision-making, we hypothesize that discussing issues using complex language will moderate extremity and reduce extreme member’s confidence

Information and group polarization (Van Swol, Prahl, Kolb, & Harwood)

We are exploring if people polarize more in their attitudes in groups of like-minded individuals when others discuss shared information (information that the participants already knows) or unshared information (information that the participant has never heard before the discussion). Further, we are examining how discussion of unshared information contributes of feelings of ostracism in groups.

Explaining Donald Trump (Prahl & Van Swol)

This study examines how extreme opinions about Donald Trump can be moderated or polarized depending on whether one is in a group with supporting or dissenting opinions and whether one is being asked to explain one’s position or offer supporting statements for one’s opinion.