Political Attitude Change in the Classroom: Do We Inform or Reinforce?

To what extent do introductory courses in American Government influence what our students believe? Existing research suggests that undergraduates have relatively less well-formed political attitudes; however, we also know that attitudes are generally resistant to change in direction. In this study, I look at how student attitudes about a particularly salient piece of legislation change over the course of the semester. Students were required to engage in research about the facts of the Affordable Care Act, make factual presentations about the ACA, and then write a final summary paper. A pre-/post-test survey captured change in attitudes. I find that students did, indeed, experience substantial opinion change.

Session Speaker(s)

Session Time and Location

1:00pm to 1:25pm

Session Format

25 minute presentation

Session Track

Disciplinary Research and Creative Activity