We invite colleagues to participate in a collaborative research effort among scholars with conflicting viewpoints to jointly devise and conduct a quantitative survey on free speech on campus.
A recent study (Revers & Traunmüller 2020) claims to have found evidence for widespread support for restricting free speech on campus, experiences of conformity pressures, and self-censorship. The study attracted broad public interest (1, 2, 3, 4, 5) along with critical reactions from other scholars (1, 2, 3, 4, Reply). The criticism concerned issues of study design and item wording as well as the normative framing of the results. Some of the disagreement regarding the empirical findings seems to reflect differences in the researchers’ epistemic, methodological, and ideological backgrounds. This call and the proposed project are motivated by the desire to leverage this diversity of perspectives in a constructive way.
Specifically, we are looking for scholars to join the group of skeptics who do not agree with the original study’s conclusions. In the form of a pre-registered adversarial collaboration, the group of skeptics along with the group of proponents work to consent on a questionnaire and analysis plan for a new quantitative survey that is to be conducted in the German university context (and potentially beyond).