On Tuesday, February 26th, over 30 students gathered in the library to discuss one of the most controversial topics in today's society: gun control. BridgeMNSU, in collaboration with UC Berkeley's "Mind & Person Perception" Lab, facilitated the conversation and conducted the study.
Essentially, the goal of the event was to give people the opportunity to interact with multiple people who might have different opinions than each other. Each conversation was one-on-one with assigned partners. People were put into two groups that represent each communication medium that was being tested for the survey (talking vs typing). The reason why people are interacting in different ways is to conduct research about how this might influence a person's decisions.
The point of the experiment was to understand how the communication medium influences how people make social inferences during disagreements - whether certain inferences influenced the level of conflict in the conversations, the enjoyability of the conversations, openness to others' opinions, and one's own attitudes.
All-in-all, the event was a huge success! We can't thank the participants enough for their participation in and willingness to engage in conversation about a topic that, although controversial in many faucets, was facilitated in a manner were people on all sides of the issue could make their voice heard.