Batalha, Luisa Maria, Simon Niemeyer, John S. Dryzek, & John Gastil (2019). Psychological mechanisms of deliberative transformation: The role of group identity. Journal of Public Deliberation, 15(1), art. 2. 20 pp. (doi: (Link:

Abstract: Democratic deliberation has been shown to lead to shifts in people’s preferences for particular issues. The psychological mechanisms that underpin such shifts are not well understood. Against the backdrop of a deliberative forum we examined participants’ preferences for various types of political systems, how these preferences changed as deliberations proceeded and how the final preferences were associated with different levels of inclusiveness of a social identity. The results showed that at the end of the deliberations people’s preferences moved in the direction of satisfaction with the political system, and that this preference was positively associated with identification with the superordinate identification but negatively associated with the subgroup identification. We discuss the implication of these results for the design of deliberative forums as well as the role of social identity in deliberative democracy.

Luisa Maria Batalha <> is in the School of Behavioural and Health Sciences, Australian Catholic University, North Sydney, NSW, Australia.