Listen, We Need to Talk: How to Change Attitudes about LGBT Rights

Mar 3, 2017
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What led to dramatic changes in attitudes about LGBT rights from 2006 to 2016? How can we continue to change attitudes today, as a new president and his administration already have reversed federal protections for transgender students? On Wednesday, March 8, Brian Harrison and Melissa Michelson, political scientists and co-authors of the recently published “Listen, We Need to Talk: How to Change Attitudes About LGBT Rights,” shared their research. Published by Oxford University Press, the book uncovers how to change people’s attitudes on controversial topics using what the authors call “The Theory of Dissonant Identity Priming.” The theory, which the pair tested through randomized experiments across the U.S., shows how people are often willing to change their attitudes about LGBT rights when they find out that others with whom they share an identity are also supporters of those rights.