The individual as the source of progressive thinking: A comment on Liu and Sibley (2006)

  • Christian Staerklé University of Geneva


This paper comments on James Liu’s and Chris Sibley’s article “Differential effects of societal anchoring and attitude certainty in determining support or opposition to (bi)cultural diversity in New Zealand.” Three issues are discussed, beginning with the specificities of the New Zealand context. Second, the epistemological discrepancies
between attitudes and social representations are highlighted. Finally, the main finding
according to which sharing information with others gives rise to opposition to multiculturalism, whereas individual cognitive activity leads to support for multicultural
policies, is discussed regarding its normative implications. It is concluded that the paper provides an important input for current research on social representations, and that Liu and Sibley have taken the issue of the relationship between attitudes and social representations a step further.

Free standing papers