You are here

College Student Attitudes Towards Free Speech and Expression

Download pdf | Full Screen View

Date Issued:
2018
Abstract/Description:
Throughout its storied history, higher education in the United States has dealt with the challenges of free speech. From Harvard's 1766 'bad butter riot' to hateful speech directed towards students by non-university community members, balancing the need for free speech with maintaining a welcoming and inclusive campus environment stands as an immense test for higher education (Papandrea, 2017). Idealism and ethicality aside, lost in the academic debate over liberty and protections are the views of those who should best help shine a light on such a divisive issue: students. This dissertation creates a quantitative path to understanding those very viewpoints. Using the theoretical framework of Social Judgment Theory (Sherif (&) Hovland, 1961), the study discerns student attitudes towards free speech by measuring student ego involvement and latitudes of acceptance, non-commitment, and rejection. This study examines one main question: are student attitudes towards the general concept of free speech congruent with their attitudes towards the perceived acceptability of specific types of speech? Results from more than 2,300 participants revealed that while college students generally regard free speech as an extremely important right in higher education, there are still instances of protected free speech that are considered unacceptable. On the topic of partisan politics, respondents identifying as Republican and Democrat were not statistically different in any measure of ego involvement or range of latitudes. Females reported higher ego involvement scores and a much higher propensity to finding certain examples of speech unacceptable, indicating a reduced belief in the importance of free speech.
Title: College Student Attitudes Towards Free Speech and Expression.
0 views
0 downloads
Name(s): Oglethorpe, David, Author
Cintron Delgado, Rosa, Committee Chair
Preston, Michael, Committee CoChair
Owens, J. Thomas, Committee Member
Carter, J. Scott, Committee Member
University of Central Florida, Degree Grantor
Type of Resource: text
Date Issued: 2018
Publisher: University of Central Florida
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: Throughout its storied history, higher education in the United States has dealt with the challenges of free speech. From Harvard's 1766 'bad butter riot' to hateful speech directed towards students by non-university community members, balancing the need for free speech with maintaining a welcoming and inclusive campus environment stands as an immense test for higher education (Papandrea, 2017). Idealism and ethicality aside, lost in the academic debate over liberty and protections are the views of those who should best help shine a light on such a divisive issue: students. This dissertation creates a quantitative path to understanding those very viewpoints. Using the theoretical framework of Social Judgment Theory (Sherif (&) Hovland, 1961), the study discerns student attitudes towards free speech by measuring student ego involvement and latitudes of acceptance, non-commitment, and rejection. This study examines one main question: are student attitudes towards the general concept of free speech congruent with their attitudes towards the perceived acceptability of specific types of speech? Results from more than 2,300 participants revealed that while college students generally regard free speech as an extremely important right in higher education, there are still instances of protected free speech that are considered unacceptable. On the topic of partisan politics, respondents identifying as Republican and Democrat were not statistically different in any measure of ego involvement or range of latitudes. Females reported higher ego involvement scores and a much higher propensity to finding certain examples of speech unacceptable, indicating a reduced belief in the importance of free speech.
Identifier: CFE0007068 (IID), ucf:52006 (fedora)
Note(s): 2018-05-01
Ed.D.
Education and Human Performance, Child, Family, and Community Sciences
Doctoral
This record was generated from author submitted information.
Subject(s): Free speech -- Freedom of assembly -- first amendment -- college students -- attitudes -- student attitudes -- social judgment theory
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/ucf/fd/CFE0007068
Restrictions on Access: public 2018-05-15
Host Institution: UCF

In Collections