The research reported below employs an experimental survey to ascertain the relative influence of affect and cognition on political tolerance judgments. We find that people's support of various groups' activities stems largely from their gut-level reactions to the groups rather than from considered thought about the consequences of the acts. Moreover, and contrary to conventional wisdom, deliberation tends to reduce tolerance. This phenomenon, we argue, arises because instructing people to think about consequences leads them to consider an amalgam of democratic values, some of which are in conflict, and of which tolerance is only one.
- civil liberties
- emotional expression
- political attitudes communism
- freedom of speech