Dylynn Lasky | 2024 I.S. Symposium

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Name: Dylynn Lasky
Title: The Harm of ‘Harm’: An Examination of the Relationship Between Conceptions of Prejudice and Support for Free Speech
Major: Psychology
Minor: Political Science
Advisors: Nathan Foster; Michael Casey

Is support for free speech related to how students define harm related concepts like prejudice? The present research studied the relationship between College of Wooster students’ definitions of harm, as exemplified through the concept of prejudice, and their overall support for free speech. More specifically, I examined the correlation between how broadly students define the concept of prejudice and how likely they are to consider and value viewpoints different from their own. The methods used to demonstrate this relationship were the concept breadth scale derived from McGrath and Haslam (2020) and a hybrid free speech survey from various universities and a free speech non-profit. The survey was administered using Qualtrics and advertised through emails and the SONA system. The results revealed a negative association between concept breadth and students’ support for free speech. In addition, political affiliation mediated the association between concept creep and free speech. Political orientation was also negatively correlated with concept breadth. Overall, the present research provided an additional correlate with concept breadth––free speech––and verified that a relationship between concept breadth and free speech exists.

Posted in Symposium 2024 on May 6, 2024.