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Open-mindedness: Areas of Investigations

By S A Hamed Hosseini May 2012

Open-mindedness can be investigated in different areas including: culture, environment, disability, sex and gender, ethnicity, social inequality, and political ideologies. 1. Toward the culturally/religiously different 'Other' or Other cultures/religions/values; (Key concepts: Multicultural Personality, Cosmopolitanis*, orthodox, heterodox, universal compassion, cultural tolerance, modern(ist), 2. Area of Environmental Open-mindedness: 3. Towards the physically different 'Other' (e.g. disability); (Key concepts: perception of disability, attitudes towards disability equality, physical appearances or body size, 4. Towards the sexually different 'Other' or Others with different gender or sexual orientations/physical appearances, etc.; (Key concepts: ... 5. Towards the ethnically/nationally/racially different 'Other'; (Key concepts: ethnocentrism, 6. Towards the socioeconomically underprivileged 'Other'; (Key concepts: egalitarian, 7. Towards the ideologically different Other or Other political ideologies/ideas/policies; (Key concepts: political open-mindedness, conservative, Key Explanatory Factors: age, class, gender, residential status, level of education, favorite media, other types of attitude, ideological views (liberal, socialist ), level of religiosity, life satisfaction, occupation, Populations (social context): Australians, teachers, residents of a particular area, university students, Challenges in defining open-mindedness: 1. Is an open-minded person is a person who is fully embracing/ accepting everything about an issue; how about a person who does not accept spread hatred as freedom of expression? Or a person who is reluctant towards body size/shape but has reservations about health, or a person who is open to smoking in closed public areas?! Where should be put the limits/boundaries in our definition of open-mindedness? (this depends on your decision as your group when discussing who is ideally open-minded or close-minded) 2. Isnt the concept of Open-mindedness a subjective/value-laden concept itself? Does this concept carry a liberalist meaning? Can we liberate our definition of this concept
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from any ideological influence? How? (even not all liberals are similarly openminded) 3. People may appear open-minded in their expressions but not in practice. Is openmindedness merely an attitudinal issue? How can we explore the inconsistency between attitudes and behaviors? 4. What are the ethical challenges? How about the validity of your research and the reliability of your research tools? Following sources can be consulted with respect to each of the above areas,

Riggs, W. (2010) Open-Mindedness, Metaphilosophy, 41(1-2), pp. 172-88,

1- Area of Cultural Open-mindedness:

Iqbal, Z. (2010) Understanding Islamophobia: Conceptualizing and Measuring the Construct, European Journal of Social Sciences, 13(4), pp. 57490, Yakunina, E. S., et al. (2012) The multicultural personality: Does it predict international students' openness to diversity and adjustment?, International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 36(4), pp. 533-40, Williams, C. T. & Johnson, L. R. (2011) Why can't we be friends?: Multicultural attitudes and friendships with international students, International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 35(1), pp. 41-48, Pedersen, A. & Hartley, L. K. (2012) Prejudice Against Muslim Australians: The Role of Values, Gender and Consensus, Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology, 22(3), pp. 239-55, Woodward, I., et al. (2008) Attitudes towards globalization and cosmopolitanism: cultural diversity, personal consumption and the national economy, British Journal of Sociology, 59(2), pp. 207-26, Ollivier, M. (2008) Modes of openness to cultural diversity: Humanist, populist, practical, and indifferent, Poetics, 36(2-3), pp. 120-47 (this is a qualitative study but can be very inspirational)

2- Area of Environmental Open-mindedness:


Torgler, B., et al. (2011) Participation in environmental organizations: an empirical analysis, Environment and Development Economics, 16, pp. 591-620, Valinas, M. D. G. & Torgler, B. (2010) Taxes and Environmental Protection: Individual Preferences in Europea, Revista De Economia Aplicada, 18(54), pp. 107-32 Stefanovich, M. A. P. (2011) Does concern for global warming explain support for wave energy development? A case study from Oregon, USA, 2011 Ieee - Oceans Spain), pp., Spence, A., et al. (2010) Public Perceptions of Energy Choices: The Influence of Beliefs About Climate Change and the Environment, Energy & Environment, 21(5), pp. 385-407, Lofgren, A. & Nordblom, K. (2010) Attitudes towards CO2 taxation - is there an Al Gore effect?, Applied Economics Letters, 17(9), pp. 845-48 Duroy, Q. M. H. (2008) Testing the affluence hypothesis: A cross-cultural analysis of the determinants of environmental action, Social Science Journal, 45(3), pp. 419-39, Torgler, B. & Garcia-Valinas, M. A. (2007) The determinants of individuals' attitudes towards preventing environmental damage, Ecological Economics, 63(2-3), pp. 536-52,

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Munro, L. (2001) Caring about blood, flesh, and pain: Women's standing in the animal protection movement, Society & Animals, 9(1), pp. 43-61 Halder, P., et al. (2012) International Survey on Bioenergy Knowledge, Perceptions, and Attitudes Among Young Citizens, Bioenergy Research, 5(1), pp. 247-61,

3- Area of Health Open-mindedness:


Henderson, J., et al. (2008) 'Older people have lived their lives': First year nursing students' attitudes towards older people, Contemporary Nurse, 30(1), pp. 32-45 Wilhelmsson, M., et al. (2011) Are female students in general and nursing students more ready for teamwork and interprofessional collaboration in healthcare?, Bmc Medical Education, 11, Verbakel, E. & Jaspers, E. (2010) A Comparative Study on Permissiveness Toward Euthanasia, Public Opinion Quarterly, 74(1), pp. 109-39 Pickles, D., et al. (2012) Undergraduate nursing student's attitudes towards caring for people with HIV/AIDS, Nurse Education Today, 32(1), pp. 15-20, Simmons, W. P. & Parsons, S. (2005) Beliefs in conspiracy theories among African Americans: A comparison of elites and masses, Social Science Quarterly, 86(3), pp. 582-98, Raphael, K. G., et al. (1996) Differences between Asian-American and white American dentists in attitudes toward treatment of HIV-positive patients, Aids Education and Prevention, 8(2), pp. 155-64, de Lacey, S., et al. (2012) Perceptions of embryo status and embryo use in an Australian community, Reproductive Biomedicine Online, 24(7), pp. 727-44, Shepherd, R., et al. (2007) Towards an understanding of British public attitudes concerning human cloning, Social Science & Medicine, 65(2), pp. 377-92, Nisbet, M. C. & Goidel, R. K. (2007) Understanding citizen perceptions of science controversy: bridging the ethnographic-survey research divide, Public Understanding of Science, 16(4), pp. 421-40,

4- Area of Sexual/Gender Open-mindedness:

Lee, T. T. & Hicks, G. R. (2011) An Analysis of Factors Affecting Attitudes Toward Same-Sex Marriage: Do the Media Matter?, Journal of Homosexuality, 58(10), pp. 1391-408, Hon, K. L. E., et al. (2005) A survey of attitudes toward homosexuality in Hong Kong Chinese medical students, Teaching and Learning in Medicine, 17(4), pp. 344-48, Feng, Y. L., et al. (2012) Adolescents' and Young Adults' Perception of Homosexuality and Related Factors in Three Asian Cities, Journal of Adolescent Health, 50(3), pp. S52-S60, Jackle, S. & Wenzelburger, G. (2011) Religion and religiousness as determinants of homonegativity. A multi-level analysis of 79 countries, Berliner Journal Fur Soziologie, 21(2), pp. 231-63 Neville, S. & Henrickson, M. (2006) Perceptions of lesbian, gay and bisexual people of primary healthcare services, Journal of Advanced Nursing, 55(4), pp. 407-15

5- Area of Racial/ethnic Open-mindedness:

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Nesdale, D., et al. (2012) Intercultural Effectiveness, Authoritarianism, and Ethnic Prejudice, Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 42(5), pp. 1173-91, Hainmueller, J. & Hiscox, M. J. (2010) Attitudes toward Highly Skilled and Low-skilled Immigration: Evidence from a Survey Experiment, American Political Science Review, 104(1), pp. 61-84, Forrest, J. & Dunn, K. (2006) Racism and intolerance in eastern Australia: a geographic perspective, Australian Geographer, 37(2), pp. 167-86, Dunn, K. M., et al. (2004) Constructing racism in Australia, Australian Journal of Social Issues, 39(4), pp. 409-30, Feather, N. T. & Mckee, I. R. (2008) Values and prejudice: Predictors of attitudes towards Australian Aborigines, Australian Journal of Psychology, 60(2), pp. 80-90, McKay, F. H., et al. (2012) 'It Would be Okay If They Came through the Proper Channels': Community Perceptions and Attitudes toward Asylum Seekers in Australia, Journal of Refugee Studies, 25(1), pp. 113-33, Louis, W. R., et al. (2010) Speaking Out on Immigration Policy in Australia: Identity Threat and the Interplay of Own Opinion and Public Opinion, Journal of Social Issues, 66(4), pp. 653-72, Pedersen, A., et al. (2005) Prediction of negative attitudes toward Australian asylum seekers: False beliefs, nationalism, and self-esteem, Australian Journal of Psychology, 57(3), pp. 148-60

6- Area of Socio-economic Open-mindedness:

Ng, I. Y. H. & Koh, G. (2012) Chinese Singaporean attitudes towards poverty and inequality: A comparative analysis, International Journal of Social Welfare, 21(2), pp. 149-59 Finseraas, H. (2012) Poverty, ethnic minorities among the poor, and preferences for redistribution in European regions, Journal of European Social Policy, 22(2), pp. 16480,Nissan, E., et al. (2012) Drivers of non-profit activity: a cross-country analysis, Small Business Economics, 38(3), pp. 303-20, Barrientos, A. & Neff, D. (2011) Attitudes to Chronic Poverty in the 'Global Village', Social Indicators Research, 100(1), pp. 101-14, Takahashi, L. M. & Dear, M. J. (1997) The changing dynamics of community opposition to human service facilities, Journal of the American Planning Association, 63(1), pp. 79-93, Toro, P. A. & Mcdonell, D. M. (1992) Beliefs, Attitudes, and Knowledge About Homelessness - a Survey of the General Public, American Journal of Community Psychology, 20(1), pp. 53-80 Wilson, S., et al. (2009) Targets and Taxes: Explaining the Welfare Orientations of the Australian Public, Social Policy & Administration, 43(5), pp. 508-25,

7- Area of Political/Ideological Open-mindedness:


Kam, C. D. (2006) Political Campaigns and Open-Minded Thinking, Journal of

Politics, 68(4), pp. 931-45


Wegner, E. & Pellicer, M. (2011) Left-Islamist Opposition Cooperation in Morocco, British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, 38(3), pp. 303-22, Stack, S., et al. (2010) Survivalism and Public Opinion on Criminality: A CrossNational Analysis of Prostitution, Social Forces, 88(4), pp. 1703-26,

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Blekesaune, M. (2007) Economic conditions and public attitudes to welfare policies, European Sociological Review, 23(3), pp. 393-403, Kocher, M. A. & Minushkin, S. (2007) Anti-Americanism and economic globalization: Free trade, open markets and public opinion in Mexico, Politica Y Gobierno, 14(1), pp. 77-115, Naoi, M. & Kume, I. (2011) Explaining Mass Support for Agricultural Protectionism: Evidence from a Survey Experiment During the Global Recession, International Organization, 65(4), pp. 771-95,

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