Perspective taking approaches & networks - emerging studies


#1

I just discovered that there is a series of experiments in US schools that are meant to reduce bully-ism that first map the student network, then identify those students that are something like ‘influencers’ (this is my terminology) and then they apply a perspective taking intervention on them. I discovered it because I am studying a bit perspective taking as a potential solution to promote intellectual humility and respect in online dialogues. Perspective taking, sometime called reflexive games, are intervention in which people are asked to empathize with somebody that has a different perspective. We use them a lot in face to face deliberation to reduce conflict, psychologists have used them to intervene on bullies.

The great advantage we have in online platform is that tracking the network is super easy. If we take the respect and quality of deliberation problem not as a problem of some single individuals that are deviant, but as a problem of the network itself and the design of the environment, then maybe the best solution is one that takes into consideration the structure of network. This are my very initial thoughts and speculations on this stuff.

Secondly there might be a feasibility and cost advantage. In large online communities in which it is not feasible to have every member go through a high quality perspective taking training an approach that identifies the key players in the community and targets them with a high quality intervention could be something to experiment.

Here is the webpage of the prof. in psychology that is working on this stuff, http://www.betsylevypaluck.com/research/

If you know of anybody that is exploring perspective taking interventions, optimized via network analysis or not, in online communities please let me know, because in my field of political science I have not found much.


#2

My high school did something similar, we’re looking at these models for our resources. In practice I find that they have side effect of power concentration so over time they lead to a semi homogenization rather than civility or humility