It’s not every day that protests actually change people’s minds. In fact, social scientists say it’s pretty rare. But that’s exactly what happened a year ago, after President Trump announced the first executive order barring entry into the U.S. for individuals from certain countries.
A survey of 311 people before and after that announcement revealed that roughly a third had changed their opinions. Specifically, those who had supported the ban became less supportive or outright opposed to the policy. The shift was most pronounced among those who consider their American-ness a core part of their identity.
Loren Collingwood, a political scientist at University of California, Riverside, and lead author of the study, says media coverage – particularly, high-profile coverage of protests that portrayed the ban as un-American – was a key factor.