Professor Vincent Price delivered an invited lecture "Citizens Deliberating Online: Theory and Some Evidence" at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School on November 13. Price spoke about his research examining online public deliberations over health care reform, as a guest of the Kennedy School's Program on Networked Governance, the Cambridge Colloquium on Complexity and Social Networks, and the Dubai Initiative.
Price's research, a collaborative project with Annenberg colleague Joseph Cappella, is funded by a three-year grant from the National Science Foundation. Small-group, online policy discussions among health-care elites and ordinary citizens alike were experimentally constructed and studied, using a multi-group, multi-wave panel design involving over 2,000 participants. Findings to date indicate that participation in online deliberations leads to higher levels of opinion holding on matters of health care policy; to increases in issue-related knowledge; to increased understanding of opposing points of view; and to substantive and interpretable shifts in policy preferences.