Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2018

Document Type


Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors


Political Science

First Advisor

Dr. Jennifer Wolak

Second Advisor

Dr. Jennifer Fitzgerald

Third Advisor

Dr. Cathy Comstock


Existing research surrounding political tolerance has determined that framing may affect the level of political tolerance individuals express. Yet, there still remains considerable debate regarding the effectiveness of framing upon political tolerance decision-making. Specifically, there remains ambiguity as to whether the presence of certain frames can affect an individual’s willingness to tolerate hateful or offensive speech. This study serves to clarify that ambiguity by determining if framing manipulations can significantly affect individuals’ willingness to tolerate hate speech. To determine if framing can significantly affect willingness to tolerate hate speech, I conducted an original survey experiment on Mechanical Turk. I find framing produced virtually no significant effects upon individuals’ willingness to tolerate hate speech. Contrary to previous findings demonstrating significant effects of framing upon respondents’ expressions of political tolerance, this study exhibited widespread ineffectiveness of framing manipulations designed to influence the toleration of hateful and offensive speech.