Joshua Kalla: “Personalizing Moral Reframing in Interpersonal Conversation: A Field Experiment”

Joshua Kalla
January 31, 2022

Assistant Professor Joshua Kalla has a new article in the Journal of Politics entitled “Personalizing Moral Reframing in Interpersonal Conversation: A Field Experiment.


Organizations in the contemporary United States face substantial challenges with persuading citizens and moving them to take action. Prior research finds that citizens’ views can be changed and strengthened using frames consistent with their moral values. However, it can be difficult for organizations to tailor their appeals to individuals’ moral values given the difficulty in predicting which moral values matter to which citizens. We present a preregistered field experiment in which canvassers for Planned Parenthood of Northern New England (n=52) sought to overcome this challenge by listening for individual voters’ (n=1,034) moral values and then tailoring their appeals to those moral values. In contrast to an earlier study finding no impact of long-form canvassing on abortion attitudes, we find these conversations had large effects on interest in taking action and some evidence of changes in policy attitudes. This experiment provides a template for practitioners and researchers to build on.