Individuals tend to resist changing their minds, and public opinion tends to be stable over time but between 2006 and 2016, support for same-sex marriage increased from 35% to 61%. It wasn’t just that older, more conservative people were dying and being replaced in the population by younger, more progressive people; people were changing their minds. Puzzled by the rapid rate of attitudinal change, and hoping to help advance support for LGBT rights, Brian Harrison and Melissa Michelson conducted a series of experiments between 2011 and 2014 to test how to change people’s attitudes. Their findings offer a necessary resources for how to better communicate iwth one another in these challenging times.
Brian F. Harrison (Ph.D. Northwestern University) is a political scientist, writer, and award-winning teacher. He has taught at Northwestern University, Wesleyan University, Loyola University-Chicago, and DePaul University. Brian is a specialist in political communication, political behavior and attitude change, and public opinion. He has been published in academic journals like Political Behavior, Legislative Studies Quarterly, and Social Science Quarterly, among others.
Melissa R. Michelson (Ph.D. Yale University) is Professor of Political Science at Menlo College. She is co-author of Mobilizing Inclusion: Redefining Citizenship through Get-Out-the-Vote Campaigns and Living the Dream: New Immigration Policies and the Lives of Undocumented Latino Youth. She has published dozens of articles in peer-reviewed academic journals, including pieces in American Political Science Review, Journal of Politics, and International Migration Review. Her current research projects explore voter registration and mobilization in minority communities and persuasive communication on LGBT rights.