Debiasing and Depolarizing Political Discourse

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This research was generously supported and advised by Dr. Philip Tetlock and Dr. Barbara Mellers. I would also like to thank Dr. Gregory Mitchell at the University of Virginia School of Law for his help constructing the arguments and the perspective-taking coding guide employed in the second study, Ike Silver for his help in designing the survey questions for the first study, and Joseph Cerniglia for his help on statistical analyses of the rank order procedure deployed in the second study. This research was supported by the Department of Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania and the Management Department at The Wharton School.

 

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Abstract

How do liberals and conservatives differ? Existing evidence suggests clear divergences on cognitive style and sociopolitical attitudes. However, theories such as the rigidity of the right hypothesis (Adorno et al., 1950; Tetlock, 1983) and the ideologue hypothesis (Rokeach, 1956) make incompatible predictions. The present research aims to reconcile these incongruities by employing measures that assess (a) cognitive style/open-mindedness, (b) perspective-taking, and (c) relationships between characteristics of procedural justice. Study 1 employed real-world arguments on highly politicized issues to examine rhetorical features that influence an article’s persuasiveness. We found evidence for the rigidity of the right hypothesis. In Study 2, participants listened to and summarized arguments we constructed of varying integrative complexity for and against race-based affirmative action in the context of a fictitious court case. Liberals tended to score higher on the Cognitive Reflection Task and summarized the arguments at a higher quality with greater integrative complexity. Conservatives tended to score higher on the actively open-minded thinking scale and exhibited greater attitudinal shifts than liberals. Liberals appeared to view integrative complexity as mere window dressing while conservatives were highly influenced by experimental manipulations of this measure. These nuanced findings suggest context and ideological spectrum-dependent factors that influence attitudes toward politically polarizing issues.

Key Words: political polarization, procedural justice, political ideology, perspective-taking


The political left and the political right appear to be the most ideologically divided today than at any point in recent history (Feldman & Treier, 2018). Populist Authoritarian phenomena such as Trump’s election, Brexit, Germany’s Alternative für Deutschland, France’s National Front, Xi Jinping’s authoritarian rise in China, and resurgent Japanese nationalism signal shifting attitudes in the global political landscape. Research in social psychology and political science are increasingly converging on bodies of theory that can help elucidate rising right-wing populism, growing societal distrust, and increasing threats against the legitimacy of established political norms and institutions (Van Assche, Dhont, Van Hiel, & Roets, 2018). This work can also shed light on the solidification of ideological echo chambers that impede effective political decision-making and constructive civil dialogue within liberal democracies. The current studies aim to study three dimensions of this expansive issue by comparing U.S. conservatives and liberals in terms of their (1) cognitive style, (2) ability to perspective-take, and (3) attitudes toward procedural justice.

Cognitive Style
Two dominant hypotheses in social psychology connect political ideology to cognitive style. The first, termed rigidity of the right, derives from authoritarian personality theory which sought to link a set of political outlooks—antidemocratic views, anti-Semitism, and ethnocentrism among others—to underlying personality traits and Freudian psychodynamic conflicts (Adorno, Frenkel-Brunswik, Levinson, & Stanford, 1950; Clarke, 2017; Tetlock, 1983; 1984). Within the literature, Terror Management Theory (TMT), Jost’s Political Conservatism as Motivated Social Cognition (MSC) Perspective, and the conservative shift hypothesis all draw on the classic work of Adorno et al. (1950) on Right Wing Authoritarianism (Greenberg, Pyszczynski, & Solomon, 1986; Greenberg, Pyszczynski, Solomon, Rosenblatt, & et al, 1990; Jost, Glaser, Kruglanski, & Sulloway, 2003). Conservatives are characterized as risk averse, preferring the political status quo, and more prone to existential anxiety than liberals. Under this perspective, conservatives’ preservation of and adherence to order, conformity, and tradition buffer them against perceived sources of threat or uncertainty such as ambiguity, immigrants, or complexity (Wilson, 1973). According to this perspective, conservatives are predisposed to adopt more simple, dichotomous, and rigid interpretations of issues and events (Tetlock & Mitchell, 1993). Thus, the rigidity of the right perspective hypothesizes:

H1. Compared to political liberals, conservatives are more receptive to arguments coming from their own side and less receptive to those of the other side, are less open-minded, less able to perspective-take, more averse to complexity, and exhibit poorer cognitive reflection. 
 

An alternative perspective emerged as a reaction to the rigidity of the right’s inherent bias towards conservatives and the apparent insensitivity of clear authoritarianism on the left (Rokeach, 1956; Tetlock, 1994; Tetlock, Hannum, & Micheletti, 1984). The ideologue hypothesis proposes that regardless of beliefs, true believers are more intolerant of inconsistency and ambiguity while being more receptive to simple, absolutist, and value-compatible viewpoints than do moderates (Tetlock, Bernzweig, & Gallant, 1985). That is, ideologues of the left and the right are more cognitively similar than they are different. Hence, the ideologue perspective predicts:

H2. Compared to political moderates, staunch liberals and conservatives are worse perspective-takers, more receptive to arguments that conform with their political orientation, are less open-minded, more averse to complexity, and demonstrate poorer cognitive reflection.

To test these hypotheses, we employed an integrative complexity coding system to manipulate complexity (Tetlock, 1983), the Actively Open-minded Thinking (AOT) scale to measure open-mindedness (Haran, Ritov, & Mellers, 2013), and the Cognitive Reflection Task (CRT) to assess cognitive reflection, a dimension of cognitive ability (Frederick, 2005). Integrative complexity theory focuses on conceptual differentiation and integration. Differentiation refers to the different dimensions or features of an issue. For instance, an undifferentiated decision-maker would rely on a simple rule of thumb or only sees two simple black-and-white points of view. A highly differentiated decision-maker would recognize the multifaceted and sometimes contradictory repercussions of a decision. Integration refers to the complex connections among differentiated dimensions of an issue. The intricacy of integration depends on whether the respondent or decision-maker perceives the differentiated characteristics as functioning in isolation (low integration), through simple interactions (moderate integration), or in multiple, complex patterns (high integration). As Tetlock (1983) notes, it is important to recognize that the integrative complexity construct relies not on content, but structure. Both cognitive structural variables of differentiation and integration are present in nearly all political philosophies.

Two well established scales were employed to assess open-mindedness, tendency to perspective-take, and cognitive reflection. The first, the AOT scale, served as a measure of one’s tendency to consider viewpoints different from one own (Haran et al., 2013). Actively open-minded thinking is a reasoning style characterized as a tendency to weigh new evidence against one’s own belief (Baron, 1993). Those who score high on the AOT scale have been shown to be less prone to “myside bias” (Stanovich & West, 1997). The second, the CRT, served as a metric of one type of cognitive ability, specifically the tendency to override an incorrect intuitive response and engage in further reflection. Previous research has shown that higher CRT scores correlate not only with measures of general cognitive ability, but also predict heuristic-and-biases task performance (Toplak, West, & Stanovich, 2011). 

Procedural Fairness and Judicial Legitimation
In the political science literature, there are two dominant explanations of populism: (1) the economic insecurity perspective (or the economic inequality perspective) and (2) the cultural backlash hypothesis that derives from The Silent Revolution thesis (Inglehart & Norris, 2016). The Silent Revolution perspective proposes that high levels of existential security enabled people to be “more open to new ideas and more tolerant of outgroups,” allowing Post-materialist values to flourish (Inglehart & Norris, 2017). However, since the 1970s, wide outcome disparities in health, culture, and economics in the United States have grown precipitously, threatening the sense of existential security that characterized the era following the end of the second World War (Case & Deaton, 2015). Inglehart and Norris (2016) found greater support for the cultural backlash perspective as the immediate cause of right-wing populism. However, they also found that rising political discontent ultimately reflects economic insecurity and a narrowing of opportunities for economic mobility. In the political realm, the ossification of viewpoints on the allocation of scarce economic resources and opportunities underlies much of the ideological divide between liberals and conservatives (Duckitt, 2016; Feldman & Stenner, 1997). It is therefore imperative that research on political polarization focus not only on the distribution of outcomes and opportunities, but also on the procedural side of their allocation.

The social psychology of procedural justice offers valuable insight into the foundational norms that make up judgments of fairness (Lind & Tyler, 1988; Thibaut & Walker, 1975). Lind and Tyler (1988) identified six distinct conceptual criteria that influence these judgments: (1) representation, to what degree viewpoints of both sides are accurately presented; (2) consistency, whether the application of norms, laws, and procedures are applied equally; (3) impartiality, whether decisions are unbiased; (4) accuracy, the extent to which the decisions are perceived as being made from an informed perspective; (5) correctibility, the possibility of appealing and correcting errors; and (6) ethicality, the politeness and personal sensitivity of the decision-maker (Ayers, 1992). This study sought to explore procedural justice in the context of race-based affirmative action along three of these dimensions: representation, impartiality, and accuracy.

Current Studies

The current studies were part of a larger research program that aims to increase people’s open-mindedness and debias political discourse. This work also contributes to continuing research on forecasting tournaments successfully conducted by Philip Tetlock and Barbara Mellers for IARPA (Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity), an organization within the Office of the Director of National Intelligence devoted to improving analyses conducted by the U.S. Intelligence Community (Tetlock, Mellers, Rohrbaugh, & Chen, 2014). This thesis also continues the research theme of my previous work as a Thouron Scholar at the University of Cambridge with Matthew Samson and Leor Zmigrod on a separate thesis titled, “A Global Assessment of Personality & Sociopolitical Attitudes” in which I employed a cross-national data set assessing the psychometrics of nearly 36,500 individuals from thirty-three countries to study the validity, complexity, and differentiation of the left-right political divide globally.
The present work comprises two studies. Study 1 focuses on rhetorical characteristics that liberals and conservatives find persuasive. By employing timely real-world articles on politicized issues, this experiment served to ensure greater external validity. In Study 2, we constructed four arguments of varying integrative complexity on the politicized issue of racial preference in college admissions. We asked participants to listen to these arguments, summarize them, and complete a Judge Open-mindedness Questionnaire, a Procedural Justice Questionnaire, the AOT scale, and the CRT. The central aim of this thesis research was to further elucidate predominant theories and hypotheses surrounding the ideological and cognitive differences between liberals and conservatives to promote more constructive political discourse.

Study 1

Method
Participants. Fifty-five participants (67.3% men, ages 18-75, median age 21, 50.9% had at least a four-year degree) were recruited for the study through the World Wide Web in return for an Amazon gift card of $25. Participants were asked to identify their political orientation along an eight-point scale from extremely liberal to extremely conservative. 60.0% of the participants identified as liberal in political orientation (1.8% extremely liberal, 10.9% very liberal, 25.5% liberal, 21.8% somewhat liberal, 10.9% somewhat conservative, 16.4% conservative, and 12.7% very conservative). Only those participants who correctly answered at least four of six true or false attention check reading questions (see Appendix 1.19) were retained for analysis (N = 55). The experimental and consent procedures were approved by the University of Pennsylvania’s Institutional Review Board Committee for the Protection of Human Subjects.

Materials. Eighteen articles were gathered on the issues of gun control, Confederate statues, and U.S. national anthem protests by N.F.L. players (see Appendix 1.1.1-18). Six articles were found for each topic with three articles of liberal political orientation and three of conservative political orientation. Liberal arguments were considered to be those that were for increased gun regulation, the categorical removal of Confederate monuments, and support for the politicized issue of kneeling during the singing of the national anthem. The political orientation of the articles as rated by the participants can be found in Appendix 1.21.

Procedure. Participants were randomly assigned by a Latin Square Design to read four of eighteen articles. For each article, they were asked to identify its political orientation along an eight-point scale from extremely liberal to extremely conservative. Participants then responded to an Article Analysis Questionnaire that asked about the piece’s reliance on emotion, logic, its persuasiveness, and whether it was well-written (Appendix 1.20). The true or false attention reading checks followed the Questionnaire (Appendix 1.19).

Results
We hypothesized that liberals would be less susceptible to emotional pleas and would seek logical arguments in determining an argument’s persuasiveness. Employing Analyses of Variance (ANOVA), we determined that emotion did not significantly explain the persuasiveness of the texts but being well-written and logical did (see Figure 1). The rigidity of the right perspective predicts that conservatives will be less liable to persuasion by logical or emotional arguments. Instead, they would be persuaded only if the argument’s political orientation conformed with their own political worldview. As predicted, the article’s emotional valence did not contribute significantly to its persuasiveness (R2 = .033, F(1,55) = 1.877, p = .176). However, contrary to our hypothesis, logic did contribute significantly to the article’s persuasiveness (R2 = .091, F(1,53) = 5.291, p < .05) and whether the article was well-written significantly contributed to the variance as expected (R2 = .108, F(1,55) = 19.228, p < . 05). Interestingly, identifying the argument’s political orientation positively correlated with its persuasiveness for conservatives (β = .363, p < .01) but correlated with its persuasiveness non-significantly among liberals (β = -.164, p = .027).

 
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Multiple regression analysis was further used to test if characteristics of the arguments significantly predicted participants ratings of the articles’ persuasiveness. The results of the regression indicated the two predictors explained 17.5% of the variance (R = .419, F(2, 125) = 13.302, p < .001). Whether the piece was well written significantly predicted persuasiveness (β = .273, p <.01), as did whether it was perceived as logical (β = -.253, p <.05). For liberals, these two predictors explained 32.6% of the variance (R = .326, F(2, 45) = 10.891, p < .001). Well written significantly predicted persuasiveness (β = .447, p < .01) and whether the piece was logical did not significantly predict persuasiveness (β = -.169, p = .295).  For conservatives, these two predictors explained 11.9% of the variance (R = .345, F(2, 77) = 5.198, p < .01). Neither well written (β = .193, p = .129) nor logical (β = -.202, p = .112) significantly predicted persuasiveness. Instead, for conservatives, recognizing the argument’s political stance alone accounted for 13.1% of the variance in its persuasiveness (R = .363, F(1, 81) = 12.255, p < .01) and significantly predicted its persuasiveness (β = .363, p < .01).

 
Halbert Bai Research
 

Study 2

Method
Participants.
This study was carried out over a nationally representative college-educated Qualtrics panel of eighty-one participants (50% women, ages 24-75, median age 54) in return for monetary compensation and the chance to win one of three Amazon gift cards of $50 value each. Participants were asked to identify their political orientation along an eight-point scale from extremely liberal to extremely conservative. 46.9% of the sample indicated they were liberal in political orientation (7.4% extremely liberal, 12.3% very liberal, 19.8% liberal, 7.4% somewhat liberal, 17.3% somewhat conservative, 21% conservative, 7.4% very conservative, and 7.4% extremely conservative). The participants described themselves as 7.4% Asian, 3.7% Black or African American, 3.7% Hispanic or Latino (including Spain), 84% White (including Middle Eastern), and 1.2% Mixed Race. All subjects were retained in the analysis unless specified otherwise. The experimental and consent procedures were approved by the University of Pennsylvania’s Institutional Review Board Committee for the Protection of Human Subjects.

Measures, Materials, and Procedure. The study employed a 2x2x2 between-subjects factorial design. Independent variables were participant ideology (liberal or conservative), for or against race-based affirmative action programs, and integrative complexity (IC=1 or IC=7). Participants were directed to an online survey hosted by the Qualtrics Survey Software for completion of all self-reports and the post-audio recording gist. The audio recording was embedded within the survey through the Soundcloud audio distribution platform and the survey was programmed to ensure participants listened to the arguments before proceeding with following sections of the study.
Participants were asked two pre-manipulation questions on their attitudes toward race-based affirmative action on a seven-point scale from strongly oppose such programs to strongly support. They were then randomly assigned to listen to one of four audio recordings of representative judicial opinions for or against such policies I constructed with the help of Tetlock, Mitchell, and previous works on the issue (see Appendix 2). These arguments were framed as the majority opinion in response to a fictitious case between a coalition of Asian Americans and the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). The ruling was described as being authored by a judge sitting on a Federal Circuit Court of Appeals who was “widely viewed as a political moderate.” The arguments were constructed to be orthogonal in political orientation and integrative complexity. Two arguments were considered “liberal” or in favor of race-based affirmative action (AA) policies and two arguments were considered “conservative” or against such policies. Scores of 1 reflect low differentiation and low integration:

Racial discrimination has plagued our nation since its founding, and under the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, we have a shared commitment to rid modern society of the legacies of racial oppression. Racially discriminatory policies of the kind employed by UCLA perpetuate the legacy of racial oppression by directing beneficial practices at one group to the detriment of another group, in this case Asian Americans. This is unacceptable and is the same practice used during the era of Jim Crow when university admission policies excluded applicants of African origin to benefit white males. It is just this sort of racial intolerance and discrimination that the law seeks to abolish. Taking UCLA at its word with respect to the justifications for its policy, UCLA’s admissions policy represents an unwise and ill-conceived attempt to redress past wrongs by creating new wrongs. Accordingly, we rule in favor of the plaintiff.

Morally irrelevant characteristics such as race, sex, or creed should not have any bearing on the admission of students into UCLA. In this case, the defense attempted to make a non-moral characteristic morally relevant by arguing on the basis of past societal discrimination and the virtues of diversity. Both justifications failed to convince the members of this Court. We found UCLA’s practices to be reminiscent of Jim Crow policies directed at blacks but now directed at Asian Americans (Appendix 2.2).

Scores of 7 reflect high differentiation and high integration:

Although UCLA’s current policy fails, we do not rule out the possibility that some forms of race-based affirmative action could survive strict scrutiny. Accordingly, we reveal the legal logic and moral values driving the application of the law to the specifics of this case to provide guidance for future admissions policies. On the one hand, when a morally irrelevant characteristic such as race, creed, or sex has been treated as morally relevant and injustices have resulted, it is then proper to treat that characteristic as morally relevant in order to make reparations. On the other hand, if the characteristic in question is morally irrelevant, its use even in this manner would still constitute discrimination, discrimination now in favor of those possessing the characteristic and against those not, but unjust discrimination still.

Balancing these competing arguments and reconciling them within our constitutional framework is the challenge facing this Court. We recognize how easy it is for reasonable people to see these complex issues in different ways. Throughout our nation's history, the Courts have struck different balances among the considerations we are weighing—and even today, different Courts see the need to make the tradeoffs differently.

Our position takes into account these differing perspectives but nonetheless comes down decisively against the constitutionality of racial preferences as manifested in UCLA’s current policy (Appendix 2.1).

The judicial opinions were constructed to control for word count (range: 1726-1730 words) and structure. Five integrative complexity elements were varied between the two conservative opinions and three such elements were varied between the two liberal opinions (Appendix 2.1-4).

After listening to the audio recording, participants summarized the argument by a 20:1 compression ratio (approximately 85-95 words). Participants were then asked about the difficulty of gisting the arguments and the political orientation of the opinion. An explicit and an implicit measure of attitude change were employed. Participants responded whether their opinion on affirmative action had changed (an explicit measure) and again, whether preferential treatment on the basis of race should be continued on a seven-point scale from strongly agree to strongly disagree (Appendix 2.5). Participants were subsequently asked to rank order the importance of twelve statements from the original argument. Lastly, participants responded to a Judge Open-Mindedness Questionnaire (Appendix 2.6), a Procedural Justice Questionnaire (Appendix 2.7), the Cognitive Reflection Test (Frederick, 2005), and a modified version of the AOT (Haran et al., 2013).

Blind to the political orientation of the participants, I coded the 81 gists separately for perspective-taking and integrative complexity. The assessment of perspective-taking was based on a coding guide developed by Tetlock and Mitchell (Appendix 2.9). Integrative complexity was coded on the traditional 7-point scale (Baker-Brown et al., 2009). Examples of the gists coded by their integrative complexity can be found in Appendix 4.

Results
Cognitive Style. Table 3 presents an assessment of the constructive validity of our primary scales. On average, we found that participants who identified as conservative had higher AOT scores (M = 2.63, SE =.13) than those who identified as liberal (M = 2.25, SE = .12). This difference was significant t(79) = -2.19, p < .05. On the CRT, participants who identified as conservative had lower CRT scores (M = 1.12, SE = .16) than those who identified as liberal (M = 1.13, SE = .18). This difference was not significant t(79) = 1.36, p = .18. To test the ideologue hypothesis, we compared moderate believers and true ideologues. We found that moderate liberals and conservatives had similar AOT scores t(51) = .779, p = .44 while staunch conservatives and staunch liberals differed greatly in AOT scores t(26) = 2.933, p < .01.

 
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Perspective-taking. We employed three metrics to assess the perspective-taking ability of participants: an assessment of their attitudinal change and two scores based on their summaries (or “gists”). These were scores of the gists’ integrative complexity and content (see Appendix 2.9 and Appendix 4). There was a significant interaction between the argument's integrative complexity and the political orientation of the participant F(1, 36) = 4.252, p < .05. Employing the explicit measure of attitudinal change, we found staunch conservatives on average changed their position on AA more so than liberals. This difference was significant t(26) = 2.976, p < .01. This difference was not significant comparing moderate liberals and moderate conservatives t(51) = -.875, p = .386. High complexity conservative arguments tended to shift staunch conservatives to be more in favor of race-based affirmative action, whereas similar shifts were not apparent in other ideological categorizations. Moderate conservatives tended to shift their opinion more in favor of race-based affirmative action upon listening to a high complexity liberal opinion. Such shifts did not appear in other ideological groups. 

 
 Figure 2. AOT Scores of Participants by Political Orientation. Note: The staunch categorization refers to those who rated themselves as adhering very or extremely to their ideological camp, whereas the moderate categorization refers to those who rated themselves as adhering somewhat or simply as as a conservative or a liberal.

Figure 2. AOT Scores of Participants by Political Orientation.
Note: The staunch categorization refers to those who rated themselves as adhering very or extremely to their ideological camp, whereas the moderate categorization refers to those who rated themselves as adhering somewhat or simply as as a conservative or a liberal.

 

On average, we found that conservatives had lower gist scores when summarizing more integratively complex arguments, whereas liberals tended to have higher gist scores when summarizing such arguments. However, this difference was not significant t(11) = .397, p = .699. Excluding subjects with scores less than zero (N = 7), gist scores were approximately normally distributed with a skewness of .023 (SE = .279) and a kurtosis of .125 (SE = .552). Scores less than zero were not considered in our analysis (see Appendix 2.9). Employing gist scores as a measure of perspective-taking, we found no significant difference between liberals and conservatives on perspective-taking of the other side t(79) = -.561, p = .576. There was also no significant difference when we compared staunch conservatives and staunch liberals t(26) = .862, p = .397. The same held when comparing moderate conservatives and moderate liberals t(51) = .441, p = .661. 

 Figure 3. Attitudinal shifts on policies of racial preference varying by integrative complexity.

Figure 3. Attitudinal shifts on policies of racial preference varying by integrative complexity.

 Figure 4. Average gist scores by political orientation.  

Figure 4. Average gist scores by political orientation.
 

 Figure 5. Average gist scores by political orientation and the integrative complexity of the judicial opinion.

Figure 5. Average gist scores by political orientation and the integrative complexity of the judicial opinion.

 Figure 6. Gist scores by participant’s political orientation and integrative complexity of the original judicial opinions.

Figure 6. Gist scores by participant’s political orientation and integrative complexity of the original judicial opinions.

 Figure 7. Integrative complexity of the participants’ gists by the integrative complexity and political orientation of the original argument.&nbsp;

Figure 7. Integrative complexity of the participants’ gists by the integrative complexity and political orientation of the original argument. 

Blind to the political orientation of the participants, I coded the integrative complexity of the 81 gists. A Mann-Whitney test indicated that the integrative complexity of the summaries was greater for liberals (N = 38; M = 3.54; Mdn = 3) than for conservatives (N = 43; M= 2.47; Mdn = 2), U = 492.0, p < .001, r = -.33. To test the ideologue hypothesis, we conducted further tests. We found that staunch conservatives (N = 12; M = 2.25; Mdn = 2.5) and staunch liberals (N = 16; M = 3.47; Mdn = 3.0) differed in the integrative complexity of their gists though non-significantly U = 56.0, p = .09, r = -.33. The difference between moderate conservatives (N = 31; M = 2.55; Mdn = 2.0) and moderate liberals (N = 22; M = 3.59; Mdn = 3.0) was significant U = 213.0, p = .018, r = -.32. Both moderate liberals and staunch conservatives increased the integrative complexity of their gists upon hearing a highly complex conservative judge. No comparable shits were present in the liberal arguments.

 
 

Procedural Justice. We employed a composite measure of the judge’s open-mindedness and effort in perspective-taking by averaging the scores of the Judge-Open Mindedness Questionnaire. The Cronbach’s alphas of the scales in each condition are listed in Table 4. Compared to liberals, conservatives found the judge who authored the high integrative complexity conservative argument as more open-minded (R2 = .179). Liberals found the judge who authored the low integrative complexity argument to be moderately more open-minded (R2 = .141). Participant's political orientation seemed to have no influence on their impression of the judge's open-mindedness in the IC = 7 liberal condition (R2 = .001) while it did in the IC = 1 liberal condition (R2 = .229). Liberals tended to view the low integrative complexity liberal argment as more open-minded (Appendix 3.4).

 
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Discussion
The findings of Study 1 lend support to the rigidity of the right hypothesis. Across the eighteen articles, the political orientation of the arguments accounted for their persuasiveness to a greater extent among conservatives than among liberals. The comparison employing univariate regressions suggests a preliminary mechanism for the rigidity of the right: conservatives are less able to perspective-take because of the cognitive dissonance associated with confronting the political worldview of the other side. On the other hand, liberals tended to engage more with the logic and content of the arguments in determining the articles’ persuasiveness. The results align with previous research on political conservatism (Carney, Jost, Gosling, & Potter, 2008; Stone, 1980; Tetlock, 1983; Wilson, 1973). Conservatives in this study did indeed appear more intolerant of conflicting and threatening points of view on politically polarizing issues.

Study 2 painted a more nuanced picture of the relationship between cognitive style and ideological orientation. The results provide clear evidence against the rigidity of the right but do not unequivocally support the ideologue hypotheses. We employed three measures of perspective-taking: attitudinal shifts in response to varying political orientation and integrative complexity, integrative complexity of participants’ gists, and content scores of the gists. On two of these three measures, liberals appeared to be better perspective-takers. Liberals were better at capturing the arguments presented to them and produced summaries of higher integrative complexity. This was significant when comparing liberal and conservative integrative complexity scores of their gists but non-significant when comparing their scores assessing content. This result replicates previous research linking liberals to higher integrative complexity in thought and interpretation (Jost, 2017; Tetlock, 1983; Tetlock et al., 1984; 1985).

Employing attitudinal shifts as a measure of perspective-taking, we found that conservatives tended to shift their attitude towards race-based affirmative action more so than liberals. After listening to a high integrative complexity conservative judge, staunch conservatives dramatically increased their opposition toward policies of racial preference while moderate conservatives became more in favor of such policies. In the liberal condition, high integrative complexity tended to shift conservatives in favor of race-based affirmative action. This effect was larger for moderate conservatives. Liberals tended to be more immovable in their opinion on the issue. The attitudinal shifts among conservatives that appeared in response to integratively complex arguments suggests conservatives tend to be more threatened by complexity and ambiguity—a finding that is consistent with the characterization of conservatives as described in Jost et al. (2003). Alternatively, this finding could also suggest conservatives are more likely to not only take the perspective of an opposing side but also change their own opinion towards the issue upon listening to a high integrative complexity argument. 

The two measures of cognitive style assessed the dispositional variables of open-mindedness and cognitive ability. The actively open-minded thinking cognitive style assesses the motivation to seek out evidence against one’s strongly held beliefs and to resist the draw of “myside” bias (Stanovich & West, 1997; 2007). We found conservatives tended to be significantly more actively open-minded, adding complications to the generalizations linking conservatives to diminished openness (Jost et al., 2003; Shook & Fazio, 2009). The classic study by Cohen et al. (1996) showed that in cultures of honor insults on one’s reputation by a confederate would be met by a reciprocal violent or aggressive act. Similarly, conservatives have been found to adhere more to deontological moral systems and tend to respect norms and rules from earlier generations even if they would be beneficial in a utilitarian sense (Graham, Haidt, & Nosek, 2009). Rather than generally less open, conservatives who tend to adopt values associated with cultures of honor could be less willing to actively venture into the unfamiliar for fear of insulting or disrespecting another person’s belief, property, or culture (Cohen, Nisbett, Bowdle, & Schwarz, 1996; Graham et al., 2009). Further research could help link values associated with the culture of honor found in the American South with conservatism to further test these relationships. We found that liberals tended to score higher on the CRT though non-significantly. A higher power study would help demonstrate whether there is a true ideological differential in cognitive reflection ability. The apparent contradiction between AOT scores and scores of the gists suggests a dissociation between open-mindedness and cognitive complexity. Future studies should elucidate the relationship between open-mindedness in decision-making and the openness to experience personality factor of the Five Factor Model that is commonly used to assess openness (McCrae & Costa, 1997).

Our assessments of perspective-taking and cognitive style reveal intricacies beyond the current literature’s generalizations of the left and the right. In study 2, liberals appeared to be more cognitively complex but unwilling to inculcate the viewpoints of the other side as their own. That is, liberals seemed to view high integrative complexity as mere window dressing. Meanwhile conservatives tended to be more cognitively rigid and less equipped to adequately capture the nuances of the opposing side. Nonetheless, staunch conservatives appeared more motivated to update their beliefs as measured by the AOT and tended to agree with the validity of the perspective espoused by the opposing side. In general, both moderate and staunch conservatives were highly influenced by the integrative complexity of the arguments.

The composite measure of judge open-mindedness revealed that liberals and conservatives found the integratively complex liberal argument as equally open-minded. Conservatives exhibited the expected pattern: they viewed both conservative arguments as more open-minded than liberals. However, compared to conservatives, liberals found the integratively simple liberal argument as slightly more open-minded. Future research of statistically higher power should test whether liberals inherently view more integratively complex arguments coming from their own side as less open-minded or simply discounted such complexity as superficial. Evidence for the latter would align with the lack of attitudinal shifts we found in response to our experimental manipulations of integrative complexity. 

In summary, studies 1 and 2 present inconsistent conclusions on the cognitive style and attitudinal influences characteristic of liberals and conservatives. The findings of study 1 aligned with previous research supporting the rigidity of the right. Study 2 provided clear evidence against the rigidity of the right hypothesis but was mixed on its support of the ideologue hypothesis. On two of three measures employed, liberals appeared to be better perspective-takers and viewed integrative complexity not as bona fide open-mindedness but as mere rhetorical window dressing. Conservatives were more liable to shift their attitudes in response to varying integrative complexity. Although moderates tended to be more similar than staunch conservatives and staunch liberals, this distinction was only clear on the AOT scale and this did not hold when comparing the integrative complexity of their summaries. The ambiguity of these findings could indicate a context-dependent mediator. In study 1, respondents read and evaluated real-world opinion pieces representative of those published by American news outlets. This reflected how most Americans today consume information about politics. The experimental paradigm of study 2 in which respondents had to listen closely to a court ruling was more similar to a judicial proceeding, which traditionally involves considerably greater thought and deliberation than that required for browsing the news. Future studies  should attempt to construct arguments for and against a wide array of politically polarizing topics by varying integrative complexity to see if our findings are consistent across political issues. Collectively, our studies show that there are indeed means of drawing consensus between liberals and conservatives even as the gap widens ever more between them. Our studies suggest two diverging routes of persuasion for the left and the right. When making assessments of persuasiveness, conservatives appear to recognize and reward integrative complexity while liberals see past structural complexity and focus more on logic and how well-written an argument is overall. 

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Appendices

Appendix 1: Experiment 1
A.1 Text Materials
The text from the following articles are not provided out of respect for the authors but can be found in the publications listed.

A.1.1. Liberal Argument on Guns

The Simple Truth About Gun Control
By Adam Gopnik (Published in The New Yorker)

A.1.2. Liberal Argument on Guns

Repeal the Second Amendment
By Stephen Paddock (Published in The New York Times)

A.1.3. Liberal Argument on Guns

Disarming the NRA
By Adam Winkler (Published in The New York Review)

A.1.4. Conservative Argument on Guns

The Gun Control Mirage
By the Editorial Board of The Wall Street Journal

A.1.5. Conservative Argument on Guns

Gun Control: The New Moral Crusade
By Matt Purple (Published in The American Conservative)

A.1.6. Conservative Argument on Guns

The Left Has the Stronger Case for Gun Ownership
By Grayson Quay (Published in The American Conservative)

A.1.7. Liberal Argument on Confederate Statues

The Statues of Unliberty
By Matt Ford (Published in The Atlantic)

A.1.8. Liberal Argument on Confederate Statues

Confederate Statues and ‘Our’ History
By Eric Foner (Published in The New York Times)

A.1.9. Liberal Argument on Confederate Statues

Take the Statues Down
By Yoni Appelbaum (Published in The Atlantic)

A.1.10. Conservative Argument on Confederate Statues

Modern Liberalism’s False Obsession with Civil War Monuments
By Jason L. Riley (Published in The Wall Street Journal)

A.1.11. Conservative Argument on Confederate Statues

What Trump Got Right About Charlottesville
By Scott McConnell (Published in The American Conservative)

A.1.12. Confederate Argument on Confederate Statues

If We Erase Our History, Who Are We?
By Patrick. J. Buchanan (Published in The American Conservative)

A.1.13. Liberal Argument on U.S. National Anthem Protests

What Will Taking the Knee Mean Now?
Doreen St. Félix (Published in The New Yorker)

A.1.14. Liberal Argument on U.S. National Anthem Protests

The Law Is on the N.F.L. Players’ Side
By Benjamin Sachs and Noah Katz (Published in The New York Times)

A.1.15. Liberal Argument on U.S. National Anthem Protests

From Louis Armstrong to the N.F.L.: Ungrateful as the New Uppity
By Jelani Cobb (Published in The New Yorker)

A.1.16. Conservative Argument on U.S. National Anthem Protests

Is Roger Goodell Deliberately Pushing the NFL Leftward?
By Jason Whitlock (Published in The Wall Street Journal)

A.1.17. Conservative Argument on U.S. National Anthem Protests

NFL Conflict Mirrors the Country’s Divide
By Patrick J. Buchanan (Published in The American Conservative)

A.1.18. Conservative Argument on U.S. National Anthem Protests

The NFL Hates America: 9 Pieces of Proof
By John Nolte (Published in Breitbart News)
 
A.1.19 Reading Check Questions

Correct answers follow the statements participants were asked. 

The Simple Truth About Gun Control
By Adam Gopnik (Published in The New Yorker)

1. The author of this piece compares the freedom to own guns to the freedom to faith-heal. T
2. The author considers gun violence as much of a complex problem as the U.S. deficit. F
3. The author thinks there is a global precedent on gun control. T
4. This article was written in response to the recent Las Vegas shooting. F
5. The author compares effective gun control to antibiotics. T
6. The author thinks that more guns are the solution to mass shootings. F

Repeal the Second Amendment
By Stephen Paddock (Published in The New York Times)

1. The author does not cite data from the Centers for Disease Control. F
2. The vast majority of people killed by gun violence are children. F
3. The author mentions Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong-Un in the article. T
4. The author says that addressing mental health problems will help resolve the “active shooter” phenomenon. F
5. The author says that liberals are making progress on the gun control debate. F
6. Less than half of gun owners buy guns without a background check. T

Disarming the NRA
By Adam Winkler (Published in The New York Review)

1. This article was written in the aftermath of the Las Vegas shooting. T
2. The author points to the second clause of the Second Amendment to justify regulation of the right to bear arms. F
3. The author writes that the story of gun control in America lacks transformation and adaptation. F
4. The framers of the constitution thought that guns were a form of personal protection against criminals. F
5. Guns were regulated in early America. T
6. The author thinks that today’s battles over gun control are not constitutional but political. T

The Gun Control Mirage
By the Editorial Board of The Wall Street Journal

1. The authors of the article believe that Americans can sometimes bend to government dictates. T
2. The article says that rapid fire was used in the shooting incident they mention. T
3. Contrary to popular belief, those who wish to buy a semi-automatic weapon must undergo a lengthy FBI check. F
4. The authors write that the Clinton-era ban had a discernible effect on gun violence. F
5. Modification of a firearm into an automatic is legal. F
6. The addition of a gun silencer eliminates most of the noise of a typical firearm. F

Gun Control: The New Moral Crusade
By Matt Purple (Published in The American Conservative)

1. The author thinks that further regulation of assault weapons will prevent future mass shootings. F
2. According to the author, a belt loop can achieve the same results as a bump stock. T
3. Gun violence is committed mostly with handguns, not assault rifles. T
4. The author says that conservatism is about limiting the concentration of power. T
5. The author says that taking a Madisonian view entails the government having a monopoly on arms. F
6. The author says that a ban on handguns would do the most to decrease violent crime. T

The Left Has the Stronger Case for Gun Ownership
By Grayson Quay (Published in The American Conservative)

1. The author compares Marxist-Leninism to the sympathies of American leftists. T
2. The author compares gun control to the disarmament of blacks under Jim Crow. T
3. The author suggests that protecting the right to bear arms is central to the left’s protection of itself. T
4. Pink Pistols promotes greater gun control. F
5. Revolutions are mentioned in the article. T
6. According to the author, the most common anti-gun arguments draw on interpretations of the U.S. Constitution, not history. F

The Statues of Unliberty
By Matt Ford (Published in The Atlantic)
 
1. According to the article, the author believes that America’s resurgent white nationalism relies on symbols of the Confederacy. T
2. According to the author, Robert E. Lee was a benevolent slaveowner who refused to enslave free black Northerners. F
3. The U.S. Marine Band refused to play patriotic songs during the unrevealing of Jefferson Davis’s statue. F
4. The author argues that Confederate monuments represent a rejection of American democracy and pluralism. T
5. The author makes reference to a 20-year-old student from Reno. T
6. At the time of this article’s writing, there was not a collection of Confederate statues in the U.S. Capitol. F

Confederate Statues and ‘Our’ History
By Eric Foner (Published in The New York Times)
    
1 According to the article, American immigration policy never once limited immigration to only “white” persons. F
2 The author argues that President Trump has effectively equated the Southern Confederacy with American culture and history. T
3. The author promotes a racial definition of American nationality. F
4. The author argues that statues honoring Confederate soldiers legitimizes the racist-nature of the Southern Confederacy. T
5. One of Robert E. Lee’s lieutenants endorsed black male suffrage and led armed conflict against white supremacists. T
6. For some time in America, individual states defined American citizenship. T

Take the Statues Down
By Yoni Appelbaum (Published in The Atlantic)

1. According to the article, as of August 2016, military bases in the U.S. have eliminated the names of Confederate icons. F
2. The author believes that Republicans and Democrats have both rejected a nation built on white supremacism. T
3. The author believes in a multi-ethnic democracy. T
4. The author thinks that the statues honoring Confederate soldiers will ultimately come down. T
5. The author believes that treating both sides of the Civil War equally meant ignoring injustice. T
6. The author quotes President Trump. T

Modern Liberalism’s False Obsession with Civil War Monuments
By Jason L. Riley (Published in The Wall Street Journal)

1. According to the article, two of the leading conservationists of the early 20th century were dedicated white supremacists. T
2. The author writes that the Democratic party posits that racial inequality is mainly a legacy of the nation’s slave past. T
3. The author argues that Blacks were not able to accomplish much in the first century after their emancipation. F
4. The author suggests that the legacy of slavery is incorrectly blamed for racial gaps in American society. T
5. The author believes that the narrative being told to Blacks does not focus enough on the legacy of slavery. F
6. The author states that blacks and whites never shared the same attitudes toward marriage, school and work, and parenting. F

What Trump Got Right About Charlottesville
By Scott McConnell (Published in The American Conservative)

1. While the media wanted to learn more about infrastructure, Trump focused on the events surrounding Charlottesville. F
2. President Trump was resolute in calling the death of the young woman at Charlottesville an act of terrorism. F
3. The author compares the term alt-right to the term, “socialist.” T
4. Antifa showed up in Charlottesville with a permit. F
5. According to the author, there has been a surge in left wing violence. T
6. Richard Spencer is not mentioned in the article. F

If We Erase Our History, Who Are We?
By Patrick. J. Buchanan (Published in The American Conservative)

1. The author compares the events in Charlottesville to those in Ferguson. T
2. The author writes the primary issue of concern in Charlottesville was whether Robert E. Lee’s statue should be removed. T
3. According to the author, Thomas Jefferson depicted American Indians in a positive light. F
4. The author mentions Prime Minister Winston Churchill. T
5. The author argues that America today is not unique. F
6. At the point of the article’s writing, the author writes that all Confederate monuments have been removed from Alexandria, Virginia. F

What Will Taking the Knee Mean Now?
Doreen St. Félix (Published in The New Yorker)

1. According to the article, the owner of the Jaguars donated a million dollars to President Trump’s Inauguration. T
2. The author argues that taking the knee is about the 1st amendment itself. T
3. The author condemns opposition to President Trump. F
4. Protests during the playing of the national anthem has been called unpatriotic. T
5. A sports team based in Pennsylvania is mentioned in the article. T
6. According to the author, Colin Kaepernick took a knee during a game for the 49ers to mainly protest the events in Charlottesville. F

The Law Is on the N.F.L. Players’ Side
By Benjamin Sachs and Noah Katz (Published in The New York Times)

1. The author argues that it is illegal for NFL players to kneel during the national anthem. F
2. The second World War is mentioned in the article. T
3. According to the article, solidarity with teammates is also a major reason for taking the knee during the National Anthem. T
4. The author argues that President Trump is right on the issue of the NFL protests. F
5. The 13th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution is mentioned in the article. T
6. It can be inferred from the article that the National Labor Relations Act was passed during the Great Depression. T

From Louis Armstrong to the N.F.L.: Ungrateful as the New Uppity
By Jelani Cobb (Published in The New Yorker)
1. Louis Armstrong is mentioned in the article. T
2. The author states that President Trump exhibits hostility toward the practice of democracy. T
3. The author argues that Colin Kaepernick’s protests were not directed against the U.S. military or the flag. T
4. A Supreme Court decision is referenced in the article. T
5. The events in Charlottesville are mentioned in the article. T
6. A journalist mentioned in the article called President Trump a white supremacist. T

Is Roger Goodell Deliberately Pushing the NFL Leftward?
By Jason Whitlock (Published in The Wall Street Journal)

1. Public concern over concussions and other head injuries is mentioned in the article. T
2. President Clinton’s press secretary is mentioned in the article. T
3. Someone is called out for poor leadership in this article. T
4. According to the author, a pro-war conservative cultivated the NFL into prominence. F
5. The NFL’s image is explicitly discussed. T
6. Jerry Jones is a football player in the NFL. F

NFL Conflict Mirrors the Country’s Divide
By Patrick J. Buchanan (Published in The American Conservative)

1. The author argues that President Trump will not be proven right. F
2. The author argues that NFL players do not have a right to burn the American flag. F
3. According to the author, public high school teams do not have the right to gather players for voluntary prayer before games. T
4. The author argues that the conflict within the NFL over anthem protests reflects the country’s divide. T
5. The author argues that the issue of recent NFL protests is over the First Amendment. F
6. The author argues that disrespect of the American flag is a practice the NFL cannot sustain. T

The NFL Hates America: 9 Pieces of Proof
By John Nolte (Published in Breitbart News)

1. At work, the author argues, we have a right to free expression. F
2. The author suggests that political expression is restricted in the workplace. T
3. The author says that his news organization would fire him if he exposed himself as a racist. T
4. The author suggests that different employers have different standards and freedoms for expression in the workplace. T
5. According to the author, the NFL does not take taxpayer funds. F
6. According to the author, the NFL has fined players for breast cancer advocacy. T
 
A.1.20. Article Analysis Questionnaire 


1.    To what extent does the author use emotion to make their point?
(1 = Not at all, 7 = Extensively)
2.    To what extent does the author use logic to make their point?
(1 = Not at all, 7 = Extensively)
3.    Rate your agreement with the following statement: This article is well-written.
(1 = Strongly agree, 4 = Neither agree nor disagree, 7 = Strongly disagree)
4.    Rate your agreement with the following statement: This article is persuasive.
(1 = Strongly disagree, 4 = Neither agree nor disagree, 7 = Strongly agree)


A.1.21. The Political Orientation of the Articles as Rated by Participants

Please see original article.

Appendix 2: Experiment 2

A.2 Constructed Legal Opinions

Integrative complexity elements of the score indicated are boxed (see original article).

The opinions were adapted from The Affirmative Action Debate Edited by Steven M. Cahn, For Discrimination: Race, Affirmative Action, and the Law by Randall Kennedy, “Affirmative Action as Reparations for Slavery and Legal Discrimination: Amicus Brief in Support of Respondents” by Kevin Outterson, “Rawls and Reparations” by Martin D. Carcieri, “Taking Conservatives Seriously: A Moral Justification for Affirmative Action and Reparations” by Kim Forde-Mazrui, “The Future of Affirmative Action” by Elise C. Boddie (Harvard Law Review), Grutter v. Bollinger, Fisher v. University. of Texas at Austin, Mismatch: How Affirmative Action Hurts Students It's Intended to Help, and Why Universities Won't Admit It by Richard Sander and Stuart Taylor, Jr.

The materials were then heavily edited by Halbert Bai, Philip Tetlock, and Gregory Mitchell. 

A.2.1. Conservative Opinion of Integrative Complexity Score 7
This is an excerpt from the majority opinion authored by a judge sitting on a federal Circuit Court of Appeals who is widely viewed as a political moderate and widely respected by both Democrats and Republicans.  The decision of this court is subject to review by the U.S. Supreme Court.  Please listen closely to the reading of this decision.
    
The Coalition of Asian-American Associations, consisting of some 64 Asian-American organizations, jointly filed this suit against the University of California Los Angeles, or UCLA. Gene Block, Chancellor of UCLA, and the university’s Board of Regents were the named defendants. We summarize the arguments briefly.

The plaintiffs argued that over the last two decades, UCLA has employed racially discriminatory procedures in its undergraduate admissions program and has held Asians to higher admissions standards than any other racial group, including whites. The plaintiffs provided statistical and circumstantial evidence that showed that many Asian-American students with top SAT scores, GPAs, and extracurricular records have been rejected by UCLA while similarly situated applicants of other races have been admitted. 

Because racial and ethnic characteristics so seldom provide a legitimate basis for disparate treatment, applicant race or ethnicity may not be considered by a public university unless the admissions process can withstand strict scrutiny.  Strict scrutiny requires the university to demonstrate with clarity a compelling purpose behind an admissions policy that classifies applicants by race or ethnicity, and requires the university to demonstrate that its use of the classification is necessary to the accomplishment of its purpose.

UCLA argued there was a compelling university interest to ensure a "critical mass" of students from minority groups, particularly African Americans and Hispanics, “to ensure that these minority students do not feel isolated or like spokespersons for their race” and “to pursue the educational benefits of diversity for the full student body.”

Although we see merit in UCLA’s argument, we rule in favor of the plaintiff. No matter how compelling the interests of racial diversity may be, the use of race to achieve a so-called “critical mass” of students from certain groups is clearly prohibited by the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The justifications offered by UCLA cannot withstand the strict scrutiny required when a state institution uses race to make decisions about the distribution of public resources. 

The plaintiff cogently argued that the affirmative action practices employed by UCLA discriminated against Asian American applicants and were based on false and negative stereotypes of Asians. These stereotypes include the claim that Asians lack soft skills including creativity, artistic talent, risk taking, and leadership skills. The plaintiff argued that UCLA’s reinforcing of such stereotypes compounds existing and historical societal discrimination against Asian Americans. Additionally, these policies undermine the trust between Asian Americans and American institutions, and they create unnecessary racial barriers between Asian Americans and other racial groups. The plaintiff also recalled UCLA’s historical precedent in employing and justifying discriminatory policies, specifically those created to bar admission of Japanese American applicants during the Second World War. 

In the Court’s view, UCLA has not identified with sufficient clarity the interests that its use of race and ethnicity actually serve. Its primary argument is effectively that we should defer to the university’s judgment about “the educational benefits of diversity” and “remediation for societal discrimination” and that it need not identify any metric that would allow a court to determine whether its policies actually serve those interests.

UCLA has claimed that its policies are needed to achieve a “critical mass” of Black and Hispanic students, but it has never explained what this term means. According to UCLA, a critical mass is neither some absolute number of Black or Hispanic students nor the percentage of these groups in the general U.S. population. The term remains undefined, but UCLA tells us that it will let the courts know when the desired end has been achieved. This is a plea for blind deference, which was rejected by the Supreme Court’s decision in the case of Fisher v. the University of Texas.

Affirmative action policies must actually serve a compelling goal to pass strict judicial scrutiny. The traditional deference paid to higher educational institutions does not change this standard. 

A Court’s first duty is to uphold the Constitution, no matter how strong the temptation to bend it. And we recognize temptations are great because of terrible wrongs historically inflicted on African Americans. However, it is the role of the political, not legal, system to determine a solution to inequalities produced by slavery and Jim Crow.

Race-based affirmative action is presumptively disfavored as a solution for past discrimination. Classifications of citizens on the basis of race are by their very nature odious to a free people whose institutions are founded on the doctrine of equality. They threaten to stigmatize members of groups and incite racial hostility.

Although UCLA’s current policy fails, we do not rule out the possibility that some forms of race-based affirmative action could survive strict scrutiny.  Accordingly, we reveal the legal logic and moral values driving the application of the law to the specifics of this case to provide guidance for future admissions policies. On the one hand, when a morally irrelevant characteristic such as race, creed, or sex has been treated as morally relevant and injustices have resulted, it is then proper to treat that characteristic as morally relevant in order to make reparations. On the other hand, if the characteristic in question is morally irrelevant, its use even in this manner would still constitute discrimination, discrimination now in favor of those possessing the characteristic and against those not, but unjust discrimination still.

Balancing these competing arguments and reconciling them within our constitutional framework is the challenge facing this Court. We recognize how easy it is for reasonable people to see these complex issues in different ways. Throughout our nation's history, the Courts have struck different balances among the considerations we are weighing—and even today, different Courts see the need to make the tradeoffs differently.

Our position takes into account these differing perspectives but nonetheless comes down decisively against the constitutionality of racial preferences as manifested in UCLA’s current policy.

Race preference has been defended on three grounds: to offset past discrimination; to counteract present unfairness; and to achieve future equality. The first is often referred to as “reparation,” the second “a level playing field,” and the third “diversity.”

Justification on the grounds of reparation refers to the making of amends for the wrongs imposed upon racial minorities, particularly blacks, over a long period.

Although this Court sees merit in the argument for reparation, we reject it for three reasons. First, beneficiaries of affirmative action are not themselves victims of the past racial wrongs invoked to justify positive racial discrimination. Typical beneficiaries are not people who have been enslaved or Jim Crowed. They are people armed with anti-discrimination laws and an aroused public antipathy towards racial prejudice.

Second, beneficiaries are typically better off than fellow minorities lower down on the socioeconomic ladder who lack the wherewithal to access affirmative action. It is in fact those lower down on the ladder who continue to suffer more from the present effects of past racial oppression. Yet, it is precisely those who are suffering less who are reaping the most benefit from race-based affirmative action as reparations.

Third, groups burdened by affirmative action are not responsible for the wrongs that reparatory affirmative action seeks to rectify.

The arguments for a “level playing field” and “diversity” are misguided for three reasons. 

First, while promoting college diversity is admirable, the reality is that there is a wide gap in academic preparation between students who receive racial preferences and those who do not.

Second, preference by race is importantly unfair. We realize much of the rationale for racial preference lies in its putative capacity to improve social mobility and bring diverse perspectives to campuses. The demand for diversity simply ignores its unfairness. However compelling, the alleged but uncertain benefits of some desired racial distribution do not override moral principles requiring fair treatment. Before we can choose diversity over equality, much more proof of the tangible benefits of diversity must be provided.

Third, we do believe UCLA should provide a more level playing field. Race preference not only fails to do so, but it is also bad for the minorities preferred. It creates a stigma for the race preferred and places students into classrooms where they will struggle to compete. 

Moreover, the arguments for reparation, a level playing field, and diversity are unsound. While unconscious bias certainly exists, it does not necessarily translate into real-world behavior, especially in the deliberative process of university admissions. Additionally, anti-discrimination laws enacted by statute and enforced by the courts obviate the need for affirmative action policies and ensure adequate checks against race discrimination in present-day college admissions. The Constitution abhors classifications based on race because every time institutions place citizens on racial registers and makes race relevant to the provision of burdens or benefits, it demeans us all. That constitutional imperative does not change in the face of an unproven theory that racial discrimination may produce “educational benefits,” no matter how compelling making tradeoffs in favor of racial or ethnic preferences might seem.


Finally, we want to emphasize that not every consideration of race in college admissions will violate the Equal Protection Clause.  Had UCLA come forward with more than speculation about the benefits of its admissions policy and had shown that its policy was narrowly tailored to achieve these benefits, then we would likely have reached a different decision.  But under the present record, there is not sufficient proof that an applicant’s race is used as just one factor in individualized admissions decisions aimed at ensuring a diverse student body in terms of attitudes, beliefs, and experiences.  Rather, as currently exercised, UCLA’s admission policy presents too great a risk of perpetuating the very stereotypes and attitudes about different minority groups that the makers of the policy invoke as justification for the policy.  A more narrowly tailored policy that guarantees affirmative consideration to the applicants of all historically oppressed minorities and that considers how each individual from those groups might benefit from and contribute to a diverse educational experience might survive constitutional challenge. 

For these reasons, the Court strongly affirms the unconstitutionality of race-based affirmative action in university admissions and rules that UCLA’s admissions policy, as currently applied, violates the U.S. Constitution.


A.2.2. Conservative Opinion of Integrative Complexity Score 1
This is an excerpt from the majority opinion authored by a judge sitting on a federal Circuit Court of Appeals who is widely viewed as a political moderate and widely respected by both Democrats and Republicans.  The decision of this court is subject to review by the U.S. Supreme Court.  Please listen closely to the reading of this decision.
    
The Coalition of Asian-American Associations, consisting of some 64 Asian-American organizations, jointly filed this suit against the University of California Los Angeles, or UCLA. Gene Block, Chancellor of UCLA, and the university’s Board of Regents were the named defendants. We summarize the arguments briefly.

The plaintiffs argued that over the last two decades, UCLA has employed racially discriminatory procedures in its undergraduate admissions program and has held Asians to higher admissions standards than any other racial group, including whites. The plaintiffs provided statistical and circumstantial evidence that showed that many Asian-American students with top 1% SAT scores, GPAs, and extracurricular records have been rejected by UCLA while similarly situated applicants of other races have been admitted. 

Because racial and ethnic characteristics so seldom provide a legitimate basis for disparate treatment, applicant race or ethnicity may not be considered by a public university unless the admissions process can withstand strict scrutiny.  Strict scrutiny requires the university to demonstrate with clarity a compelling purpose behind an admissions policy that classifies applicants by race or ethnicity, and that its use of the classification is necessary to the accomplishment of its purpose.

UCLA argued there was a compelling university interest to ensure a "critical mass" of students from minority groups, particularly African Americans and Hispanics, “to ensure that these minority students do not feel isolated or like spokespersons for their race” and “to pursue the educational benefits of diversity for the full student body.”

Chancellor Block has made invalid arguments in favor of race-based admission policies. He offers no tangible metrics for measuring “critical mass” and “student body diversity,” placing UCLA’s judgments about those goals beyond court review. UCLA’s admissions policy violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and offends the national interest in achieving racial equality by choosing one group over another. UCLA’s policy erects race-based barriers when we should be removing such barriers. Racially exclusionary admissions policies cannot withstand the strict scrutiny of the U.S. Constitution.

The plaintiff cogently argued that the affirmative action practices employed by UCLA discriminated against Asian American applicants and were based on false and negative stereotypes of Asians. These stereotypes include the claim that Asians lack soft skills including creativity, artistic talent, risk taking, and leadership skills. The plaintiff argued that UCLA’s reinforcing of such stereotypes compounds existing and historical societal discrimination against Asian Americans. Additionally, these policies undermine the trust between Asian Americans and American institutions, and they create unnecessary racial barriers between Asian Americans and other racial groups. The plaintiff also recalled UCLA’s historical precedent in employing and justifying discriminatory policies, specifically those created to bar admission of Japanese American applicants during the Second World War. 

In the Court’s view, UCLA has not identified with sufficient clarity the interests that its use of race and ethnicity actually serve. Its primary argument is effectively that we should defer to the university’s judgment about “the educational benefits of diversity” and “remediation for societal discrimination” and that it need not identify any metric that would allow a court to determine whether its policies actually serve those interests.

UCLA has claimed that its policies are needed to achieve a “critical mass” of Black and Hispanic students, but it has never explained what this term means. According to UCLA, a critical mass is neither some absolute number of Black or Hispanic students nor the percentage of these groups in the general U.S. population. The term remains undefined, but UCLA tells us that it will let the courts know when the desired end has been achieved. This is a plea for blind deference, which was rejected by the Supreme Court in Fisher v. University of Texas.

Affirmative action policies must actually serve a compelling goal to pass strict judicial scrutiny. The traditional deference paid to higher educational institutions does not change this standard.

Racial discrimination has plagued our nation since its founding, and under the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, we have a shared commitment to rid modern society of the legacies of racial oppression. Racially discriminatory policies of the kind employed by UCLA perpetuate the legacy of racial oppression by directing beneficial practices at one group to the detriment of another group, in this case Asian Americans. This is unacceptable and is the same practice used during the era of Jim Crow when university admission policies excluded applicants of African origin to benefit white males. It is just this sort of racial intolerance and discrimination that the law seeks to abolish.  Taking UCLA at its word with respect to the justifications for its policy, UCLA’s admissions policy represents an unwise and ill-conceived attempt to redress past wrongs by creating new wrongs.  Accordingly, we rule in favor of the plaintiff. 

Morally irrelevant characteristics such as race, sex, or creed should not have any bearing on the admission of students into UCLA.  In this case, the defense attempted to make a non-moral characteristic morally relevant by arguing on the basis of past societal discrimination and the virtues of diversity. Both justifications failed to convince the members of this Court. We found UCLA’s practices to be reminiscent of Jim Crow policies directed at blacks but now directed at Asian Americans. 

Race preference has been defended on three grounds: to offset past discrimination; to counteract present unfairness; and to achieve future equality. The first is often referred to as “reparation,” the second “a level playing field,” and the third “diversity.”

Justification on the grounds of reparation refers to the making of amends for the wrongs imposed upon racial minorities, particularly blacks, over a long period.

This Court rejects the argument for reparation for three reasons. First, beneficiaries of affirmative action are not themselves victims of the past racial wrongs invoked to justify positive racial discrimination. Typical beneficiaries are also not people who have been enslaved or Jim Crowed. They are people armed with anti-discrimination laws and an aroused public antipathy towards racial prejudice. Obviously, we are far from a post-racial society in which all groups receive equal treatment, but we have made tremendous progress toward being a color-blind society, and it is the role of public institutions to work toward that goal instead of promoting racial divisions. By employing race as a factor in admission, UCLA misses an opportunity to level the playing field and to allow applicants, through their hard work instead of their group memberships, to determine how they are treated. By discriminating against Asians today or another group tomorrow in order to aid some groups, we will institutionalize the sort of racial bias that historically has been so harmful to minority groups. Reparations and pleas for so-called diversity must end in order to bring an end to racial inequality and to help us realize a more perfect union in which every person is judged as an individual, without race or ethnicity being a help or a hindrance.


Second, beneficiaries of UCLA’s policy are typically better off than fellow minorities lower down on the socioeconomic ladder who lack the wherewithal to access affirmative action. It is in fact those lower down on the ladder who continue to suffer more from the present effects of past racial oppression. Yet, it is precisely those who are suffering less who are reaping the most benefit from race-based affirmative action as supposed reparations for past harms done to others.

Third, groups burdened by affirmative action are not responsible for the wrongs that reparatory affirmative action seeks to rectify.

The arguments for a “level playing field” and “diversity” are misguided for three reasons. 

First, while promoting college diversity is admirable, the reality is that there is wide gap in academic preparation between students who receive racial preferences and those who do not.

Second, preference by race is importantly unfair. The demand for ethnic diversity simply ignores its unfairness. The praise of diversity as an instrument of education is greatly overblown; there is serious doubt that racial diversity has any measurable impact upon the quality of learning or teaching, and UCLA presents no evidence of a positive impact.

Third, we do believe UCLA should provide a more level playing field. Race preference not only fails to do so, but it is also bad for the minorities preferred. It creates a stigma for the race preferred and places students into classrooms where they will struggle to compete. 

Moreover, the arguments for reparation, a level playing field, and diversity are unsound. Anti-discrimination laws enacted by statute and enforced through the courts obviate the need for affirmative action policies and ensure adequate checks against race discrimination in present-day college admissions. Preference by race is egregiously unfair by providing unequal benefits to certain racial groups over others. The Constitution abhors classifications based on race because every time institutions place citizens on racial registers and makes race relevant to the provision of burdens or benefits, it demeans us all. That constitutional imperative does not change in the face of an unproven theory that racial discrimination may produce "educational benefits.”

Finally, we want to emphasize that the consideration of race or ethnicity in college admissions will rarely survive strict scrutiny.  Other colleges and universities seeking to promote some groups over other groups in their admissions policies should reconsider those policies now, before they find themselves in the position of UCLA.  It is the task of elected officials at the federal, state, and local levels to make policies that promote social justice, and not the task of admissions officers at educational institutions to impose their views of who needs public assistance and who does not.  UCLA and other state-funded institutions must make their services available on an equal basis to all applicants who have worked hard to become eligible for those tax-payer funded services.  If we permit UCLA to favor some groups over other groups in the distribution of public services, we risk opening a Pandora’s box that will be difficult to close.  

For these reasons, the Court strongly affirms the unconstitutionality of race-based affirmative action in university admissions and rules that UCLA’s admissions policy, as currently applied, violates the U.S. Constitution.


A.2.3. Liberal Opinion of Integrative Complexity Score 7
This is an excerpt from the majority opinion authored by a judge sitting on a federal Circuit Court of Appeals who is widely viewed as a political moderate and widely respected by both Democrats and Republicans.  The decision of this court is subject to review by the U.S. Supreme Court.  Please listen closely to the reading of this decision.
    
The Coalition of Asian-American Associations, consisting of some 64 Asian-American organizations, jointly filed this suit against the University of California Los Angeles, or UCLA. Gene Block, Chancellor of UCLA, and the university’s Board of Regents were the named defendants. We summarize the arguments briefly.

The plaintiffs argued that over the last two decades, UCLA has employed racially discriminatory procedures in its undergraduate admissions program and has held Asians to higher admissions standards than any other racial group, including whites. The plaintiffs provided statistical and circumstantial evidence that showed that many Asian-American students with top 1% SAT scores, GPAs, and extracurricular records have been rejected by UCLA while similarly situated applicants of other races have been admitted. 

Because racial and ethnic characteristics so seldom provide a legitimate basis for disparate treatment, applicant race or ethnicity may not be considered by a public university unless the admissions process can withstand strict scrutiny.  Strict scrutiny requires the university to demonstrate with clarity a compelling purpose behind an admissions policy that classifies applicants by race or ethnicity, and requires the university to demonstrate that its use of the classification is necessary to the accomplishment of its purpose.

UCLA argued there was a compelling university interest to ensure a "critical mass" of students from minority groups, particularly African Americans and Hispanics, “to ensure that these minority students do not feel isolated or like spokespersons for their race” and “to pursue the educational benefits of diversity for the full student body.”

Although we see merit in the plaintiff’s argument, we rule in favor of UCLA. Although the abstract ideal of race-blind admissions is compelling, the reality is that students do not come to the admissions process on equal footing. To ensure the benefits of a public education for all, some very limited considerations of race are permissible under the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. After carefully considering the policy at issue here, we conclude that UCLA’s policy is narrowly tailored to achieve compelling goals and thus survives the strict scrutiny required by the U.S. Constitution.

The defense cogently argued that the affirmative action practices employed by UCLA aim “to ensure that underrepresented minority students do not feel isolated or like spokespersons for their race; to promote cross-racial understanding; to prepare the student body for diversity in the workplace and the rest of society; to challenge all students to think critically and reexamine stereotypes; and to cultivate leaders who have ‘legitimacy in the eyes of the citizenry’ because of their diverse backgrounds." The defense argued that a university is in large part defined by intangible qualities which are incapable of objective measurement, but which make for greatness, and that the benefits of diversity and inclusion cannot necessarily be captured with quantitative precision. 

The compelling interest that justifies consideration of race in college admissions is not an interest in enrolling a certain number of minority students. A university may institute a race-conscious admissions program as a means of obtaining “the educational benefits that flow from student body diversity.” Increasing minority enrollment may be instrumental to these educational benefits, but it is not, as the plaintiffs seem to suggest, a goal that can or should be reduced to pure numbers.

Asserting an interest in the educational benefits of diversity writ large is indeed insufficient. A university’s goals cannot be vague and ill-defined; they must be sufficiently measurable to permit strict judicial scrutiny. The record reveals that in first setting forth its current admissions policy, UCLA articulated concrete and precise goals. The university explained that it strives to provide an “academic environment” that offers a “robust exchange of ideas, exposure to differing cultures, preparation for the challenges of an increasingly diverse workforce, and acquisition of competencies required of future leaders.” 

Although there is some merit in the plaintiff’s argument, the law and facts ultimately favor UCLA. UCLA’s admissions policy is narrowly tailored to address the history of injustice and exclusion particular groups have suffered, leading these groups to disadvantaged in college admissions.  We recognize the concerns some may have about unelected judges imposing their political preferences on others, but the evidence in this case and legal precedent provide compelling reasons for approving UCLA’s limited consideration of race in college admissions.

On the one hand, when a morally irrelevant characteristic such as race, creed, or sex has been treated as morally relevant and injustices have resulted, it is then proper to treat that characteristic as morally relevant in order to make reparations. On the other hand, if the characteristic in question is morally irrelevant, its use even in this manner would still constitute discrimination, discrimination now in favor of those possessing the characteristic and against those not, but unjust discrimination still.

Balancing these competing arguments and reconciling them within our constitutional framework is the challenge facing this Court.

We recognize how easy it is for reasonable people to see these complex issues in different ways. Throughout our nation's history, different Courts have struck different balances among the considerations we are weighing—and even today, different Courts see the need to make the tradeoffs differently.

A university is in large part defined by those intangible qualities which are incapable of objective measurement, but which make for greatness. Considerable deference is due a university in defining those intangible characteristics that are central to its identity and educational mission. But still, it remains an enduring challenge to our nation’s education system to reconcile the pursuit of diversity with the constitutional promise of equal treatment and dignity.

In striking this sensitive balance, universities can serve as “laboratories for experimentation.” UCLA has a special opportunity to learn and to teach. The university now has at its disposal valuable data about the manner in which different approaches to admissions foster diversity or instead dilute it. UCLA must continue to use this data to scrutinize the fairness of its admissions program; to assess whether changing demographics have undermined the need for a race-conscious policy; and to identify the effects, both positive and negative, of the measures it deems necessary.

Our position takes into account these differing perspectives, but nonetheless comes down decisively for the constitutionality of racial preferences as manifested in UCLA’s current policy.

We grant the plaintiff’s claim that UCLA employs policies that have the effect of discriminating against some subset of Asian applicants, but this Court believes UCLA is justified in doing so to ensure adequate reparations are made to oppressed groups, create a level playing field for all races, and most importantly, safeguard a critical mass of underrepresented minority in the interest of diversity and a racially representative student body. The first is often referred to as “reparation,” the second “a level playing field,” and the third “diversity.”

Government institutions were responsible for protecting slavery and discrimination, and government institutions now have a duty to right those wrongs.  The Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution, in which we find the equal protection clause that the plaintiff invokes, was itself passed in part to remedy the long history of racial oppression suffered by African Americans.  We cannot deny this historical context when applying the Fourteenth Amendment.

More important than making reparations, institutions such as UCLA must ensure a level playing field. The racism of our society has been so pervasive that no Black person, regardless of wealth or position, has managed to escape its impact. The children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren of the immediate victims of segregation are indirect victims in that they have been demonstrably injured by the racial injustices visited upon their ancestors. They have lost out in terms of inherited wealth, access to education, and access to human capital in the form of friends and relatives who can convey valuable information or offer occupational connections. 

Diversity affirmative action aims to achieve a critical mass of underrepresented minority students to promote racial diversity in academic settings. The number of students admitted is designed to enable under-represented minority students to contribute to classroom dialogue without feeling isolated. Racial proportionality is justified because it provides diversity, and there is substantial empirical evidence that support the immense benefits of racial diversity in the classroom.

The competing moral obligation of society toward the millions of individual black Americans who suffer from the effects of past discrimination suggests a difficult dilemma. To resolve the dilemma, society must balance these competing claims and consider the extent to which honoring one obligation dishonors the other. Remedying past discrimination and achieving a diverse student body, on balance, are overriding compelling interests that justify taking into account the race and ethnicity of applicants. After conducting months of study and deliberation, UCLA concluded that the use of race-neutral policies and programs would not be successful in achieving sufficient racial diversity, and it constructed a policy that only allows the consideration of applicant race or ethnicity in the overall admission decision.  Most importantly, UCLA does not apply race-based quotas but rather seeks a diverse mix of students from all of the groups found within the state of California.

Finally, we want to emphasize that the consideration of race in college admissions will typically not survive scrutiny under the Equal Protection Clause.  UCLA came forward with compelling evidence that its policy was narrowly tailored to allow each individual racial identity to be part of a holistic judgment about how that student could contribute to a diverse student body and positive educational climate.  Admissions policies that seek to increase representation among particular groups without tying that representation to concrete educational benefits risk perpetuating the sort of stereotypes and attitudes that the Equal Protection Clause abhors.  Vague invocations of historical injustice and a desire for a critical mass of students from minority groups will not suffice.  Educational institutions must show how they have infringed on equality  in the narrowest way possible to achieve legitimate and compelling educational goals, as UCLA has done in this case.  

For these reasons, the Court strongly affirms the constitutionality of race-based affirmative action in university admissions but rules that UCLA’s admissions policy, as currently applied, does not violate the U.S. Constitution.


A.2.4. Liberal Opinion of Integrative Complexity Score 1
This is an excerpt from the majority opinion authored by a judge sitting on a federal Circuit Court of Appeals who is widely viewed as a political moderate and widely respected by both Democrats and Republicans.  The decision of this court is subject to review by the U.S. Supreme Court.  Please listen closely to the reading of this decision.
    
The Coalition of Asian-American Associations, consisting of some 64 Asian-American organizations, jointly filed this suit against the University of California Los Angeles, or UCLA. Gene Block, Chancellor of UCLA, and the university’s Board of Regents were the named defendants. We summarize the arguments briefly.

The plaintiffs argued that over the last two decades, UCLA has employed racially discriminatory procedures in its undergraduate admissions program and has held Asians to higher admissions standards than any other racial group, including whites. The plaintiffs provided statistical and circumstantial evidence that showed that many Asian-American students with top 1% SAT scores, GPAs, and extracurricular records have been rejected by UCLA while similarly situated applicants of other races have been admitted. 

Because racial and ethnic characteristics so seldom provide a legitimate basis for disparate treatment, applicant race or ethnicity may not be considered by a public university unless the admissions process can withstand strict scrutiny.  Strict scrutiny requires the university to demonstrate with clarity a compelling purpose behind an admissions policy that classifies applicants by race or ethnicity, and requires the university to demonstrate that its use of the classification is necessary to the accomplishment of its purpose.

UCLA argued there was a compelling university interest to ensure a "critical mass" of students from minority groups, particularly African Americans and Hispanics, “to ensure that these minority students do not feel isolated or like spokespersons for their race” and “to pursue the educational benefits of diversity for the full student body.”

The Court rules firmly in favor of UCLA. The university presented compelling evidence that some discrimination against Asian Americans is a necessary byproduct of achieving racial equality for other groups, especially blacks, Hispanics, and American Indians who continue to suffer from past and present discrimination. The defendants also made a compelling case for the educational and societal benefits of maintaining a “critical mass” of underrepresented minorities at UCLA. UCLA’s admissions policy therefore survives the strict judicial scrutiny required by the Equal Protection Clause. For UCLA to serve all of the taxpayers of California, there is no alternative to this course of action. Discriminatory practices that may hurt some Asian American applicants are necessary to end the legacy of racial oppression suffered by Blacks, Hispanics, and American Indians.

The defense cogently argued that the affirmative action practices employed by the university aim “to ensure that underrepresented minority students do not feel isolated or like spokespersons for their race; to promote cross-racial understanding; to prepare the student body for diversity in the workplace and the rest of society; to challenge all students to think critically and reexamine stereotypes; and to cultivate leaders who have ‘legitimacy in the eyes of the citizenry’ because of their diverse backgrounds." The defense argued that a university is in large part defined by intangible qualities which are incapable of objective measurement, but which make for greatness, and that the benefits of diversity and inclusion cannot necessarily be captured with quantitative precision. 

The compelling interest that justifies consideration of race in college admissions is not an interest in enrolling a certain number of minority students. A university may institute a race-conscious admissions program as a means of obtaining “the educational benefits that flow from student body diversity.” Increasing minority enrollment may be instrumental to these educational benefits, but it is not, as the plaintiffs seem to suggest, a goal that can or should be reduced to pure numbers.

Asserting an interest in the educational benefits of diversity writ large is indeed insufficient. A university’s goals cannot be vague and ill-defined; they must be sufficiently measurable to permit strict judicial scrutiny. The record reveals that in first setting forth its current admissions policy, UCLA articulated concrete and measurable goals. The university explained that it strives to provide an “academic environment” that offers a “robust exchange of ideas, exposure to differing cultures, preparation for the challenges of an increasingly diverse workforce, and acquisition of competencies required of future leaders.” 

As an arbiter of justice, a court has a duty is to rectify injustice, and in this case, it has a duty to rectify the egregious wrongs the United States government and society have imposed on African Americans, American Indians, and Hispanics. Race-based affirmative action is necessary until we achieve true racial justice and equality in all facets of American society. The Court sees the following compelling reasons for the continuation of affirmative action as practiced by UCLA.

UCLA convincingly argued for its policy on the basis of past societal discrimination and the virtues of diversity. Education is one of the key engines of social change, and UCLA’s admissions policy should help correct the legacy of slavery and Jim Crow by promoting understanding and opportunity among all groups.  These benefits can only be achieved by ensuring a “critical mass” of students from underrepresented minority groups, even at the expense of discriminating against high performing Asian Americans, who are likely to have their pick of schools other than UCLA. 

Therefore, we see legitimate and compelling reasons for the pursuit of racial diversity to remediate past and current discrimination, reduce stereotypes, and ensure the underrepresented attain sufficient representation. 

Furthermore, universities are largely defined by those intangible qualities which are incapable of objective measurement, but which make for greatness. Considerable deference is owed to a university in defining those intangible characteristics that are central to its identity and educational mission. 

UCLA presents an opportunity to serve as a “laboratory for experimentation” in the pursuit of racial and social equality of opportunity. At its disposal, the university has valuable data about the manner in which different approaches to admissions may foster diversity or instead dilute it. UCLA has an obligation to use this data to scrutinize the fairness of its admissions program; to assess whether changing demographics have undermined the need for a race-conscious policy; and to identify the effects of the affirmative-action measures it deems necessary.

Our position comes down decisively for the constitutionality of UCLA’s policy that considers applicant race and ethnicity as part of the holistic admissions process and does not create race-based quotas.

We grant the plaintiff’s claim that UCLA employs policies that have the effect of discriminating against some subset of Asian applicants, but this Court believes UCLA is justified in doing so to ensure adequate reparations are made to African Americans, create a level playing field for all races, and most importantly, safeguard a critical mass of underrepresented minority in the interest of diversity and a racially representative student body. The first justification is often referred to as “reparations,” the second “a level playing field,” and the third “diversity.”

The U.S. government and its institutions have a collective responsibility for the consequences of the Nation’s discriminatory history. America was responsible for protecting slavery and discrimination, a responsibility that belongs to the nation as a nation and therefore continues over time. The Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution, in which we find the equal protection clause that the plaintiff invokes, was itself passed in part to remedy the long history of racial oppression suffered by African Americans.  We cannot deny this historical context in interpreting and applying the Fourteenth Amendment.

More important than offering reparations, American institutions such as UCLA must ensure a level playing field. Every black person in the U.S. has been the individual victim of racial wrongs. The racism of our society has been so pervasive that none, regardless of wealth or position, has managed to escape its impact. The children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren of the immediate victims of segregation are indirect victims in that they have been demonstrably injured by the racial injustices visited upon their ancestors. They have lost out in terms of inherited financial wealth, access to education, and access to human capital, for example friends or relatives who can convey valuable information or offer useful occupational connections. 

Diversity affirmative action aims to achieve a critical mass of underrepresented minority students in order to attain the benefits of racial diversity in various academic settings. The number of students admitted is designed to be sufficient to enable under-represented minority students to contribute to classroom dialogue without feeling isolated. Racial proportionality is justified because it provides diversity and compensates those who actually have suffered discrimination. There is also substantial empirical evidence that support the immense benefits of racial diversity in the classroom.

This Court sees no equally effective alternative to the pursuit of racial equality for historically oppressed minorities. UCLA has demonstrated that its admission policy serves the compelling goals of ensuring diversity and remediating past societal discrimination. Through extensive evidence presented to the court, UCLA showed that it conducts extensive reviews of its admissions policies to make sure its goals are being served without harming the overall interests of any groups. UCLA does not yet see a viable alternative to its minimal consideration of race in admissions decisions, and this Court agrees that a race-blind policy in admissions would not serve of the goal of justice.

Finally, we want to encourage other universities to consider whether they are doing enough to ensure that our educational institutions act as engines of social change.  UCLA’s admissions policy is narrowly tailored to allow each individual student’s race or ethnicity to be part of a holistic judgment about how the student might contribute to a diverse and vibrant student body and positive educational climate.  Other public universities should follow UCLA’s lead and do the same.  Vague invocations of the need for color-blind institutions, of the kind offered by the plaintiff, ignore the long history of oppression of African Americans, Native Americans, and other minority groups that our Fourteenth Amendment seeks to remedy.  We have far to go until we achieve the ideal of an equal society in which our institutions are truly color blind. To get there, we must be willing to make hard choices of the kind UCLA has made.

For these reasons, the Court strongly affirms the constitutionality of race-based affirmative action in university admissions but rules that UCLA’s admissions policy, as currently applied, does not violate the U.S. Constitution.

A.2.5.  Attitudinal Questions
Pre-Manipulation Question
1.    In general, do you think affirmative action programs designed to increase the number of African American and Native American students on college campuses are a good think even if it means limiting the number of White and Asian students admitted?
(1 = Strongly oppose such programs, 4 = Unsure, 7 = Strongly support)

2.    In order to overcome past discrimination, do you favor or oppose affirmative action programs, which give special preferences to qualified African-Americans and Native Americans in hiring and education?
(1 = Strongly oppose such programs, 4 = Unsure, 7 = Strongly support)

Post-Manipulation Questions
3.    Was the article difficult to summarize?
(1 = Extremely difficult, 4 = Neither difficult nor easy, 7 = Extremely easy)

4.    How would you describe this article?
(1 = Very pro affirmative action, 4 = Neither pro nor con, 7 = Very con affirmative action)

5.    Has reading this article changed your opinions about affirmative action?
(1 = Very much more in favor, 4 = Neither more or less in favor, 7 = Very much more against)
 
6.    Do you think preferential treatment on the basis of race should be continued?
(1 = Strongly Agree, 4 = Neither agree nor disagree, 7 = Strongly disagree)


 
A.2.6. Judge Open-Mindedness Questionnaire

1. How accurately did the Judge’s opinion summarize the side that the judge ruled against?
(1 = Totally Inaccurately, 4 = Moderately Accurately, 7 = Extremely Accurately)

2. How much effort did the judge put into understanding the side that lost the case?
(1 = No Apparent Effort, 4 = Some Effort, 7 = A Lot of Effort)

3. How open-minded do you think the Judge really was?
(1 = Totally Closed Minded, 4 = Somewhat Open-minded, 7 = Totally Open-minded)

4. How open-minded did the Judge want people to think he was?
(1 = Did not care at all, 4 = Cared a moderate amount, 7 = Extremely concerned to appear)

A.2.7. Procedural Justice Questionnaire

1. This opinion is well reasoned and based on the proper legal considerations.
(1 = Strongly agree, 4 = Neither agree nor disagree, 7 = Strongly disagree)

2. Federal courts can usually be trusted to make decisions that are good for the country as a whole.
(1 = Strongly agree, 4 = Neither agree nor disagree, 7 = Strongly disagree)

3. Educational institutions should be given a lot of discretion to determine their admissions policies.
(1 = Strongly agree, 4 = Neither agree nor disagree, 7 = Strongly disagree)

4. Diversity among students provides educational benefits.
(1 = Strongly agree, 4 = Neither agree nor disagree, 7 = Strongly disagree)

5. The educational benefits of diversity do not outweigh the harms caused by race-based admissions policies.
(1 = Strongly agree, 4 = Neither agree nor disagree, 7 = Strongly disagree)

6. Federal courts get too involved in issues that should be decided by elected officials.
(1 = Strongly agree, 4 = Neither agree nor disagree, 7 = Strongly disagree)

7. Preferences in college admissions usually wind up hurting the people they are trying to help.
(1 = Strongly agree, 4 = Neither agree nor disagree, 7 = Strongly disagree)


 
A.2.7. The Cognitive Reflection Test (Frederick, 2005)

1.    A bat and a ball cost $1.10 in total. The bat costs $1.00 more than the ball. How many cents does the ball cost? (Do not use any decimals or any symbols or letters.)
    Correct Answer: 5

2.     If it takes 5 machines 5 minutes to make 5 widgets, how many minutes would it take 100 machines to make 100 widgets? (Enter the number of minutes.)
    Correct Answer: 5

3.     In a lake, there is a patch of lily pads. Every day the patch doubles in size. If it takes 48 days for the patch to cover the entire lake, how many days would it take for the patch to cover half of the lake? (Enter the number of days.)
    Correct Answer: 47

A.2.8. The Actively Open-minded Thinking (AOT) Scale 

1.     Allowing oneself to be convinced by a solid opposing argument is a sign of good character. 
2.     People should take into consideration evidence that goes against conclusions they favor.
3.     Being undecided or unsure is the result of muddled thinking.
4.     People should revise their conclusions in response to relevant information. 
5.     Changing your mind is a sign of weakness.
6.     People should search actively for reasons why they might be wrong.
7.     It is OK to ignore evidence against your established beliefs.
8.     It is important to be loyal to your beliefs even when evidence is brought to bear against them.
9.     Good thinking leads to uncertainty when there are good arguments on both sides.
10.    When faced with a new question, we should consider more than one possible answer before reaching a conclusion.

Note. Items 3 and 9 were provided through personal communication by Jonathan Baron. The other items were published by Haran et al. (2013). Respondents were asked their agreement to the following statements on a 7-point Likert scale from 1 = Completely Agree, 4 = Neutral, to 7 = Completely Disagree. Reversed scored items: 3, 5, 7, 8. 


 
A.2.9. Open-Ended Gist Coding Guide

A.2.9.1 Conservative Judicial Opinion Against Race-based Affirmative Action
Integrative Complexity Score = 7

Most Important (+3):
•    Constitution requires strict scrutiny of UCLA’s policy because it takes into account race/ethnicity of applicants
•    UCLA fails to articulate compelling interest/asks for too much deference to its judgment
•    Other, better avenues exist for redressing inequalities and past harms (and those avenues are best chosen by elected officials rather than courts)
Important (+2):
•    UCLA’s policy benefits the wrong persons (neither those harmed by Jim Crow nor those most harmed by its legacy)
•    UCLA’s policy promotes stereotypes of Asian Americans and stigmatizes those who benefit from affirmative action
•    A more narrowly tailored policy with concrete evidence of benefits might survive strict scrutiny
Peripheral (+1):
•    Facts about the parties
•    Facts about author of the opinion or court issuing the decision
•    Unconscious bias not very important in admissions decisions
Irrelevant (+0)
Contrary to the Spirit of the Argument (-1)


Examples

Score of 11:
This court summarily finds against UCLA's affirmative action policy. UCLA requires higher admissions standards for Asian students based upon negative soft skill sets. UCLA stipulates its desire to create student racial diversity to achieve critical mass but does not give a specific number and wants blind deference for their policy. This is a complex moral dilemma but UCLA does not provide a compelling argument. It creates more animosity and divisiveness rather than diversity. It wholly violates the 14th amendment compounding racial tension and hostility instead of inclusiveness. Their arguments are unsound perpetuating stereotypes.

Score of 3:
The court reached a decision that race based affirmative action is in itself unconstitutional and fails to meet constitutional requirements.  UCLA's discriminatory admission practices against Asians held them to a higher standard based on their lack of soft skills such as leadership and creative abilities.  While not stated in the summary, this might be based on educational systems used in Asia, to wit, rote memorization which while allowing the learner the ability of instant recall, limits their cognitive abilities.  UCLA failed to define "Critical Mass," in their failure to limit Asians.

Score of -3:
interesting take on the current political climate in the United States of America. this country is going down with Trump and the current Congress. Trump is not my president, now or never. He never should have been elected, never, ever. He is a creep a crimnnal a woman hater a pussy lover and he needs to go. he shoiuld be impeached. the ball-less Congress wouldd, they are so far up his butt hole. I have nothing more to say on this tpoic. trying to get the words



A.2.9.2 Conservative Judicial Opinion Against Race-based Affirmative Action
Integrative Complexity Score = 1  

Most Important (+3):
•    Constitution requires strict scrutiny of UCLA’s policy because it takes into account race/ethnicity of applicants
•    UCLA fails to articulate compelling interest/asks for too much deference to its judgment
•    UCLA’s policy perpetuates the kind of official policy based on race that the 14th Amendment to the Constitution seeks to prevent
Important (+2):
•    UCLA’s policy benefits the wrong persons (neither those harmed by Jim Crow nor those most harmed by its legacy)
•    To make progress toward a world in which individual merit prevails/in which race/ethnicity are irrelevant, we must reject the use of race in college admissions
•    Consideration of race/ethnicity in college admissions will rarely be acceptable and is necessary given existing anti-discrimination laws
Peripheral (+1):
•    Facts about the parties
•    Facts about author of the opinion or court issuing the decision
•    Other colleges should reconsider their use of race in admissions
Irrelevant (+0)
Contrary to the Spirit of the Argument (-1)


Examples

Score of 12:
Asian American groups filed suit against UCLA for two decades of racially discriminatory practices against Asian Americans.  The court ruled against UCLA. UCLA stated that Asian Americans lacked creativity and leadership skills.     The court found that hard work not group affiliation should be used for college admission and applicants should be judged on their individual merits and hard work.   The Court also stated that racially discriminatory policies perpetuate racial oppression. Schools should not address past wrongs of racial discrimination and strict scrutiny is required. The government, not schools, should work toward social justice.

Score of 6:
In the court case of Asian organizations against UCLA, the judge decided that the practice of race-based admissions practiced by UCLA was unconstitutional and racially discriminatory against Asians. This court decision will be reviewed by the Supreme Court. The judge listed three reasons for why he rejected UCLA's defense: current beneficiaries of affirmative action have not been directly affected by racial discrimination, the benefits for blacks and Hispanics claimed by UCLA have not been adequately demonstrated, and UCLA efforts  in enrolling more minority students was a discriminatory act against Asians.

Score of -4:
This was a long winded and repetitive tirade against affirmative action as it relates to college admissions. The argument makes the same disingenuous claims that are typical passive aggressive racism. The argument makes no mention of the historical context for why affirmative action policies are needed.  Historical oppression of particular races has created an unequal playing field. All good grades and achievements are not created equal.  Socio-economic status must be taken under consideration, particularly as it related to those races whom have been historically oppressed, marginalized, and under represented.



A.2.9.3 Liberal Judicial Opinion for Race-based Affirmative Action
Integrative Complexity Score = 7

Most Important:
•    Constitution requires strict scrutiny of UCLA’s policy because it takes into account race/ethnicity of applicants
•    UCLA provides compelling evidence that its use of affirmative action is narrowly tailored to serve its educational mission and deference is due the judgments of educational institutions regarding how to achieve the educational mission
•    It is proper for educational institutions and courts to seek to redress inequalities and past harms
Important:
•    UCLA’s policy takes race/ethnicity into account as one of many factors in creating a diverse student body and does not use group-based quotas
•    UCLA’s policy is well-targeted at groups that have felt the greatest disadvantages due to  past discrimination
•    Institutions should take care when developing an affirmative action policy because the consideration of race in college admissions will typically not survive strict scrutiny  
Peripheral:
•    Facts about the parties
•    Facts about author of the opinion or court issuing the decision
•    Particularized details about university’s educational mission

Irrelevant (+0)
Contrary to the Spirit of the Argument (-1)


Examples

Score of 11:
Universities may use limited consideration of race as one criteria among many during the admissions process. This serves to fulfill the government's duty to right past wrongs against oppressed classes, who remain demonstrably injured today. It also provides a diverse environment, the benefits of which are supported by substantial evidence. Furthermore, it helps universities provide intangible characteristics essential to their identity and mission. It must be done in the narrowest way possible, so as not to infringe upon equal protection rights, and with continual assessment and improvement.

Score of 8:
The main issue presented  to the United States Courts of Appeal is whether the UCLA racially based admission policy is constitutional under the 14th amendment Equal protection clause? The ruling, in favor of UCLA, was hinged on the court's reasoning that UCLA policy meets the strict scrutiny test in achieving a legitimate and compelling government interest namely repatriation and righting the wrongs of past government sanctioned discrimination against minorities (blacks and hispanic). It was judicially noticed that UCLA is a public institution and as such it's policy was constitutional in light of the forgoing.

Score of 0:
I am a parent of 2 UCLA graduates and live in the state of California.  We are also Asian American.  Therefore, I don't know if my response will be perceived as biased.  I still believe that a public university must take into account all test scores, GPA, and "resume" activities to determine acceptance 1st.  California has become a predominantly Asian state, heavily weighted in the Bay Area.  The competition has continually increased over the years.  The high nbr of applicants reflect this.  No change should be made to applicants
 
A.2.9.4 Liberal Judicial Opinion for Race-based Affirmative Action
Integrative Complexity Score = 1

Most Important:
•    Constitution requires strict scrutiny of UCLA’s policy because it takes into account race/ethnicity of applicants
•    Court should/must defer to UCLA’s judgment about how best to fulfill its educational mission
•    It is proper for educational institutions and courts to seek to redress inequalities and past harms 

Important:
•    The harms imposed on Asian Americans by UCLA’s policy are justified by the past harms done to African Americans, American Indians, and Hispanics
•    UCLA’s policy is well-designed to promote its goals of reparation, leveling the playing field and promoting diversity in the classroom
•    Other institutions should follow UCLA’s lead and consider affirmative action in admissions
Peripheral:
•    Facts about the parties
•    Facts about author of the opinion or court issuing the decision
•    Particularized details about university’s educational mission

Irrelevant (+0)
Contrary to the Spirit of the Argument (-1)


Examples

Score of 7:
Asian American organizations sued UCLA on the grounds that Asian Americans were held to higher admissions standards than other groups, including whites, and that this policy was unconstitutional.  The court ruled in favor of UCLA's policy of race-based affirmative action, saying such preference in admissions was necessary to address past injustices, including segregation and discrimination.  The court said the policy helps to create a level playing field and instill racial diversity.  It added that the policy does not disadvantage Asian Americans, as their academic standing allows them access to other high-ranked schools.

Score of 6:
An anti-Asian American admission policy at the University of California at Los Angeles was upheld as being legal in order to allow the university to better allow for accomodations for hispanics, african americans and native americans. Their policy of discriminating against asian americans was deemed as a necessary by-product in order to make amends for the wrongs perpetrated in the past against these other aggrieved minority groups. UCLA is allowed to conduct it's business in this wayand is justified in an effort to create a level playing field.

Score of -2:
I thought the decision sucked.  The author of the opinion clearly had an agenda that he/she wanted to express as evidenced by the fact that the opinion not only addressed the particular issue at hand but went on to "encourage" other universities to adopt the same polices as UCLA.  I thought the judge was clearly trying to convey his/her personal opinion by lecturing the reader.  I also thought that the judge's failure to express any concern or sympathy for the Asian minorities who were subject to UCLA's discriminatory polices was disgusting.

A.2.9.5. Statements Rank Ordered for Each Argument

Condition: IC = 7 Conservative

Below are key sentences from the argument. Please rank order them in terms of their importance from top to bottom. To change the existing order, drag and drop sentences into your preferred order from Most Important = "1" to Least Important = "12". Ranks will be renumbered after any changes you make.

______ Strict scrutiny requires the university to demonstrate with clarity a compelling purpose behind an admissions policy that classifies applicants by race or ethnicity, and requires the university to demonstrate that its use of the classification is necessary to the accomplishment of its purpose. (1)
______ This is a plea for blind deference, which was rejected by the Supreme Court's decision in the case of Fisher v. the University of Texas. Affirmative action policies must actually serve a compelling goal to pass strict judicial scrutiny. The traditional deference paid to higher educational institutions does not change this standard. (2)
______ A Court's first duty is to uphold the Constitution, no matter how strong the temptation to bend it. And we recognize temptations are great because of terrible wrongs historically inflicted on African Americans. However, it is the role of the political, not legal, system to determine a solution to inequalities produced by slavery and Jim Crow. (3)
______ First, beneficiaries of affirmative action are not themselves victims of the past racial wrongs invoked to justify positive racial discrimination. Typical beneficiaries are not people who have been enslaved or Jim Crowed. They are people armed with anti-discrimination laws and an aroused public antipathy towards racial prejudice. (4)
______ The plaintiff cogently argued that the affirmative action practices employed by UCLA discriminated against Asian American applicants and were based on false and negative stereotypes of Asians. (5)
______ Race-based affirmative action is presumptively disfavored as a solution for past discrimination. Classifications of citizens on the basis of race are by their very nature odious to a free people whose institutions are founded on the doctrine of equality. They threaten to stigmatize members of groups and incite racial hostility. (6)
______ Had UCLA come forward with more than speculation about the benefits of its admissions policy and had shown that its policy was narrowly tailored to achieve these benefits, then we would likely have reached a different decision. (7)
______ However compelling, the alleged but uncertain benefits of some desired racial distribution do not override moral principles requiring fair treatment. Before we can choose diversity over equality, much more proof of the tangible benefits of diversity must be provided. (8)
______ While unconscious bias certainly exists, it does not necessarily translate into real-world behavior, especially in the deliberative process of university admissions. (9)
______ Balancing these competing arguments and reconciling them within our constitutional framework is the challenge facing this Court. We recognize how easy it is for reasonable people to see these complex issues in different ways. (10)
______ The Coalition of Asian-American Associations, consisting of some 64 Asian-American organizations, jointly filed this suit against the University of California Los Angeles, or UCLA. Gene Block, Chancellor of UCLA, and the university's Board of Regents were the named defendants. (11)
______ This is an excerpt from the majority opinion authored by a judge sitting on a federal Circuit Court of Appeals who is widely viewed as a political moderate and widely respected by both Democrats and Republicans. (12)

Condition: IC = 1 Conservative

Below are key sentences from the argument. Please rank order them in terms of their importance from top to bottom. To change the existing order, drag and drop sentences into your preferred order from Most Important = "1" to Least Important = "12". Ranks will be renumbered after any changes you make.

______ Strict scrutiny requires the university to demonstrate with clarity a compelling purpose behind an admissions policy that classifies applicants by race or ethnicity, and that its use of the classification is necessary to the accomplishment of its purpose. (1)
______ This is a plea for blind deference, which was rejected by the Supreme Court in Fisher v. University of Texas. Affirmative action policies must actually serve a compelling goal to pass strict judicial scrutiny. The traditional deference paid to higher educational institutions does not change this standard. (2)
______ This is unacceptable and is the same practice used during the era of Jim Crow when university admission policies excluded applicants of African origin to benefit white males. It is just this sort of racial intolerance and discrimination that the law seeks to abolish. (3)
______ First, beneficiaries of affirmative action are not themselves victims of the past racial wrongs invoked to justify positive racial discrimination. Typical beneficiaries are also not people who have been enslaved or Jim Crowed. (4)
______ By employing race as a factor in admission, UCLA misses an opportunity to level the playing field and to allow applicants, through their hard work instead of their group memberships, to determine how they are treated. (5)
______ The demand for ethnic diversity simply ignores its unfairness. The praise of diversity as an instrument of education is greatly overblown; there is serious doubt that racial diversity has any measurable impact upon the quality of learning or teaching, and UCLA presents no evidence of a positive impact. (6)
______ Finally, we want to emphasize that the consideration of race or ethnicity in college admissions will rarely survive strict scrutiny. (7)
______ UCLA has claimed that its policies are needed to achieve a "critical mass" of Black and Hispanic students, but it has never explained what this term means. (8)
______ The plaintiffs provided statistical and circumstantial evidence that showed that many Asian-American students with top 1% SAT scores, GPAs, and extracurricular records have been rejected by UCLA while similarly situated applicants of other races have been admitted. (9)
______ The Coalition of Asian-American Associations, consisting of some 64 Asian-American organizations, jointly filed this suit against the University of California Los Angeles, or UCLA. Gene Block, Chancellor of UCLA, and the university's Board of Regents were the named defendants. We summarize the arguments briefly. (10)
______ This is an excerpt from the majority opinion authored by a judge sitting on a federal Circuit Court of Appeals who is widely viewed as a political moderate and widely respected by both Democrats and Republicans. (11)
______ Other colleges and universities seeking to promote some groups over other groups in their admissions policies should reconsider those policies now, before they find themselves in the position of UCLA. (12)

Condition: IC = 7 Liberal

Below are key sentences from the argument. Please rank order them in terms of their importance from top to bottom. To change the existing order, drag and drop sentences into your preferred order from Most Important = "1" to Least Important = "12". Ranks will be renumbered after any changes you make.
______ Strict scrutiny requires the university to demonstrate with clarity a compelling purpose behind an admissions policy that classifies applicants by race or ethnicity, and requires the university to demonstrate that its use of the classification is necessary to the accomplishment of its purpose. (1)
______ Although there is some merit in the plaintiff's argument, the law and facts ultimately favor UCLA. UCLA's admissions policy is narrowly tailored to address the history of injustice and exclusion particular groups have suffered, leading these groups to disadvantaged in college admissions. (2)
______ UCLA came forward with compelling evidence that its policy was narrowly tailored to allow each individual racial identity to be part of a holistic judgment about how that student could contribute to a diverse student body and positive educational climate. (3)
______ Remedying past discrimination and achieving a diverse student body, on balance, are overriding compelling interests that justify taking into account the race and ethnicity of applicants. (4)
______ Educational institutions must show how they have infringed on equality in the narrowest way possible to achieve legitimate and compelling educational goals, as UCLA has done in this case. (5)
______ Most importantly, UCLA does not apply race-based quotas but rather seeks a diverse mix of students from all of the groups found within the state of California. (6)
______ Finally, we want to emphasize that the consideration of race or ethnicity in college admissions will typically not survive scrutiny under the Equal Protection Clause. (7)
______ UCLA came forward with compelling evidence that its policy was narrowly tailored to allow each individual racial identity to be part of a holistic judgment about how that student could contribute to a diverse student body and positive educational climate. (8)
______ The Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution, in which we find the equal protection clause that the plaintiff invokes, was itself passed in part to remedy the long history of racial oppression suffered by African Americans. (9)
______ The university explained that it strives to provide an "academic environment" that offers a "robust exchange of ideas, exposure to differing cultures, preparation for the challenges of an increasingly diverse workforce, and acquisition of competencies required of future leaders." (10)
______ The Coalition of Asian-American Associations, consisting of some 64 Asian-American organizations, jointly filed this suit against the University of California Los Angeles, or UCLA. Gene Block, Chancellor of UCLA, and the university's Board of Regents were the named defendants. (11)
______ This is an excerpt from the majority opinion authored by a judge sitting on a federal Circuit Court of Appeals who is widely viewed as a political moderate and widely respected by both Democrats and Republicans. (12)

Condition: IC = 1 Liberal

Below are key sentences from the argument. Please rank order them in terms of their importance from top to bottom. To change the existing order, drag and drop sentences into your preferred order from Most Important = "1" to Least Important = "12". Ranks will be renumbered after any changes you make.
______ Strict scrutiny requires the university to demonstrate with clarity a compelling purpose behind an admissions policy that classifies applicants by race or ethnicity, and requires the university to demonstrate that its use of the classification is necessary to the accomplishment of its purpose. (1)
______ Furthermore, universities are largely defined by those intangible qualities which are incapable of objective measurement, but which make for greatness. Considerable deference is owed to a university in defining those intangible characteristics that are central to its identity and educational mission. (2)
______ UCLA does not yet see a viable alternative to its minimal consideration of race in admissions decisions, and this Court agrees that a race-blind policy in admissions would not serve of the goal of justice. (3)
______ The university presented compelling evidence that some discrimination against Asian Americans is a necessary byproduct of achieving racial equality for other groups, especially blacks, Hispanics, and American Indians who continue to suffer from past and present discrimination. (4)
______ These benefits can only be achieved by ensuring a "critical mass" of students from underrepresented minority groups, even at the expense of discriminating against high performing Asian Americans, who are likely to have their pick of schools other than UCLA. (5)
______ We grant the plaintiff's claim that UCLA employs policies that have the effect of discriminating against some subset of Asian applicants, but this Court believes UCLA is justified in doing so to ensure adequate reparations are made to African Americans, create a level playing field for all races, and most importantly, safeguard a critical mass of underrepresented minority in the interest of diversity and a racially representative student body. (6)
______ Finally, we want to encourage other universities to consider whether they are doing enough to ensure that our educational institutions act as engines of social change. (7)
______ A university may institute a race-conscious admissions program as a means of obtaining "the educational benefits that flow from student body diversity." (8)
______ The university explained that it strives to provide an "academic environment" that offers a "robust exchange of ideas, exposure to differing cultures, preparation for the challenges of an increasingly diverse workforce, and acquisition of competencies required of future leaders." (9)
______ The defense argued that a university is in large part defined by intangible qualities which are incapable of objective measurement, but which make for greatness, and that the benefits of diversity and inclusion cannot necessarily be captured with quantitative precision. (10)
______ The Coalition of Asian-American Associations, consisting of some 64 Asian-American organizations, jointly filed this suit against the University of California Los Angeles, or UCLA. Gene Block, Chancellor of UCLA, and the university's Board of Regents were the named defendants. (11)
______ This is an excerpt from the majority opinion authored by a judge sitting on a federal Circuit Court of Appeals who is widely viewed as a political moderate and widely respected by both Democrats and Republicans. (12)



A.3 Tables & Figures

A.3.1 Bivariate Correlations with the Procedural Justice Questionnaire
See original article.

1. How accurately did the Judge’s opinion summarize the side that the judge ruled against?
(1 = Totally Inaccurately, 4 = Moderately Accurately, 7 = Extremely Accurately)

2. How much effort did the judge put into understanding the side that lost the case?
(1 = No Apparent Effort, 4 = Some Effort, 7 = A Lot of Effort)

3. How open-minded do you think the Judge really was?
(1 = Totally Closed Minded, 4 = Somewhat Open-minded, 7 = Totally Open-minded)

4. How open-minded did the Judge want people to think he was?
(1 = Did not care at all, 4 = Cared a moderate amount, 7 = Extremely concerned to appear)

A.3.2 Results of t-tests and Descriptive Statistics by Political Orientation for cognitive stle measures in Study 2.
See original article.

A.3.3. Mann–Whitney Tests of Key Variables in Study 2.
See original article.


A.3.4. Judge open-mindedness composite measure by political orientation of the rarticipant for each judicial opinion.

A.3.5. Sample size for α = .05
See original article.

A.3.6. Sample size for α = .01
See original article.

A.4 Integrative Complexity (IC) Coding of Gists

IC = 1: The author only indicates one way of looking at the world as legitimate. 

Example: In a case before the 9th circuit brought by a group of Asian American advocates against UCLA's race based admission policy, it was found that the policy violates the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment.  The court then launched into a detailed analysis of the arguments made by UCLA in support of its policy and why they did not stand to the strict scrutiny under the application of the equal protection clause.  The court did express that certain race based policies would survive and strived to provide guidance with its detailed analysis.

Example: Gist of the story here is that UCLA was brought up on charges for discriminating against a certain group of Asians during their admissions process.  It was found that the school does in fact not discriminate, they however attempt to be diverse as possible and feel that their strengths as a school hinder on many different cultures.  They will continue to pursue what they deem to be fair in their admissions process.  Due to the findings of the court, they will not be charged on discrimination.

IC = 2: Evidence of qualifying one or more statement is sufficient to earn this score. 

Example: UCLA's race based affirmative action admissions policy violates the US Constitution.By favoring the Afro American and Hispanic races, discrimination is being leveled against other races; especially Asian Americans. State schools can no longer base admission on race in order to achieve a  "critical mass" of Afro American and Hispanic enrollment and provide reparations for slavery and Jim Crow. Apart from the fact that these students themselves have not been victims of either of these racial injustices, UCLA is favoring diversity over equality and that is unconstitutional.

Example: Constitutional information deems it necessary that all students, regardless of race need and deserve to have a fair chance at education.  Minority populations are sorely overlooked and do not have a fair experience when it comes to education and being selected at colleges during the admissions process.  There is a fair amount of discrimination here be it knowingly, or just continuing culture specific inequality from years past. Once everyone has a fair chance at admissions, not just because of their race, sex and or anything else. Everyone needs to have a fair shot.

IC = 3: Recognition of multiple perspectives or dimensions as valid or legitimate. 

Example: Asian American groups filed suit against UCLA for two decades of racially discriminatory practices against Asian Americans.  The court ruled against UCLA. UCLA stated that Asian Americans lacked creativity and leadership skills.     The court found that hard work not group affiliation should be used for college admission and applicants should be judged on their individual merits and hard work.   The Court also stated that racially discriminatory policies perpetuate racial oppression. Schools should not address past wrongs of racial discrimination and strict scrutiny is required. The government, not schools, should work toward social justice.

Example: UCLA was sued by a group of Asian American students who asserted that UCLA applied higher admission standards to Asian American applicants and that those is the top 1% were denied admission  & instead applicants of other races with lower scores were admitted. The court found in favor of UCLA. in that it had a well developed admission policy which sought to make diversity a key component of its educational mission. It based its policy on principals of reparation, a level playing field and diversity.

IC = 4: Evidence that multiple perspectives are recognized and that they could interact.

Example: This is about a court case regarding a suit by Asian Americans agains UCLA, stating that UCLA held Asian Americans to a higher standard for admittance than African Americans or Hispanics.  The court ruled in favor of the plaintiffs (Asian Americans) citing the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment.  They said UCLA was re-inforcing societal stereotypes, which is a form of racial discrimination.  In looking at the constitutionality, three factors were examined: reparations, having a level playing ground, and diversity. Any type of racial preference is unfair.

Example: This recording examined an Asian American suit against UCLA stating that although Asian students were in the top 1% of their class, they were denied entrance into UCLA. This was because of UCLA's policy of Affirmative Action which favored Black and Hispanic students.The University argued that it is their duty as an educational institution to foster this policy. UCLA officials stated that a race neutral admission policy would not work well in creating a diverse student body and a positive educational environment, insisting that their policy promotes racial diversity. The court ruled in UCLA's favor.

IC = 5: The author views the different dimensions or perspectives as interactive and specifies a relationship among them.

Example: Asian American organizations sued UCLA on the grounds that Asian Americans were held to higher admissions standards than other groups, including whites, and that this policy was unconstitutional.  The court ruled in favor of UCLA's policy of race-based affirmative action, saying such preference in admissions was necessary to address past injustices, including segregation and discrimination.  The court said the policy helps to create a level playing field and instill racial diversity.  It added that the policy does not disadvantage Asian Americans, as their academic standing allows them access to other high-ranked schools.

Example: Universities may use limited consideration of race as one criteria among many during the admissions process. This serves to fulfill the government's duty to right past wrongs against oppressed classes, who remain demonstrably injured today. It also provides a diverse environment, the benefits of which are supported by substantial evidence. Furthermore, it helps universities provide intangible characteristics essential to their identity and mission. It must be done in the narrowest way possible, so as not to infringe upon equal protection rights, and with continual assessment and improvement.

IC = 6: Must contain evidence of satisfying the preceding IC score levels. Compares alternative perspectives with regard to their long-term outcomes, influence by external variables, or systemic impact. Text with this score must view courses of action as made up of moving parts, systems, or networks.

Example: The court affirms that UCLA's admissions policy does not violate the protections afforded by the 14th Amendment to the constitution in that it is narrowly drawn and implemented to remedy a sever social injustice resulting from historic discrimination against African-Americans, hispanics and Native Americans.  Further, the policy has been determined to be necessary to foster a more diverse academic environment which has been shown to be beneficial to all students. UCLA is justified in affording reparations to historically disadvantaged classes as well as providing a level playing field. Some disadvantage to Asian-Americans is justified.

Example: It is a overview of court action against UCLA over their admissions policy, with the view of the court being that quotas and affirmative action to accept minority groups based on colour or race was against the 14th amendment to the constitution and therefore in itself unlawful, UCLA needed to modify its admissions policy so as to be more even handed in its selection for admission of students despite its wish to promote minority group admissions by setting up of specific quotas for ethnic groups and colours of skin.

IC = 7: The author must present an overarching view, must present how each level of the issue interact, and the organizing principles underlying it.

Example: A group of organizations representing Asian American students filled suit against UCLA, claiming its admission policies discriminated against better-qualified Asian Americans by favoring other races and ethnicities.  A Federal Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that UCLA's policy was constitutional, because although it had the unfortunate effect of discriminating against some applicants, it served the greater goods of remediating past wrongs against certain groups (in particular African Americans, Hispanics, and American Indians), attempting to ensure minority groups had sufficient representation, and promoting a more diverse student body.

Example: This court summarily finds against UCLA's affirmative action policy. UCLA requires higher admissions standards for Asian students based upon negative soft skill sets. UCLA stipulates its desire to create student racial diversity to achieve critical mass but does not give a specific number and wants blind deference for their policy. This is a complex moral dilemma but UCLA does not provide a compelling argument. It creates more animosity and divisiveness rather than diversity. It wholly violates the 14th amendment compounding racial tension and hostility instead of inclusiveness. Their arguments are unsound perpetuating stereotypes.