Educating the Public on Evidence-based methods for improving inter-group civility.

Instructions for Contributors

Our goal is to create the best single place on the web for people to get an understanding of why American political civility has declined, and what can be done about it. Our "brand" is that we are academic experts who study politics or political psychology in a non-partisan way. We aggregate and summarize existing research, and we use that research to justify a small number of specific recommendations (e.g, changes to the way primaries are run, perhaps) which we believe will improve political civility and the functioning of our political institutions. We don't know what those recommendations are as we're starting off, but during the course of 2012 we will try to reach consensus on a few such recommendations. We will then work with groups that lobby for good government at the state and national levels to get these recommendations implemented.

If you have been invited to become a contributor, please do the following:

1) Log in, using the login box in the upper-right corner of the Links page. Your username is your full name, first and last, with the first letter of each capitalized. You can "request a new password" if you forgot it. Once you've signed in, then you you'll see tabs under the name of each page that allow you to View/Edit/Outline/Track. Click "Edit."  Then navigate down to where it says "Body", and put in text and images and links as you like. Note that IF YOU PASTE IN TEXT FROM A WORD DOC, you should use the "paste from word" button, which is roughly the 6th icon from the left, top row of icons, with a little "w" on it. This will remove the odd formatting characters that Word puts in.

Paste Options

To upload your own images to the site, use the "Image picker" under the "Body" editing window (scroll down within the window to find the upload option):


Once the photo is uploaded, you can access it from the "Browse tab" to insert it into the editor window:


2) Add content to our "academic resources" tabs. Each page on this tab covers a body of knowledge that might be helpful to visitors (e.g., "moral psychology" or "political science"). Some tabs cover general background questions (e.g., "is civility really good?"). The text on the page should give an overview of the area or question, followed by links to further readings. Each time you add something, if you are not the editor of the page, just put your name in brackets, with the date, and reduce the size of the text to 10 point, like this:  [Haidt, Jan 2012]

3) Add content to our "areas for intervention" tabs. This is where the real work of the site gets done. Each tab describes a particular issue or domain that may have contributed to our current decline in civility. It lays out the issue on top, including a list of the various ideas that have been proposed for change/intervention. The page then  includes links to relevant articles, books, and websites, and (if possible) makes recommendations at the end. 

4) Add content to our "Teaching and Multimedia" tabs. These pages are intended to make it easy for teachers and others to include content about civility in classes and public lectures. Papers and videos posted here should be suitable for general (non-specialist) audiences.

5) Add links to our "links" page, to other relevant organizations you know of.

6) Become the editor of an existing page, or suggest a new page. The editor is responsible for making sure things on a page stay organized and accessible to non-specialists. The editor need not write most of the page contents.

7) Recruit colleagues and graduate students to write book summaries. There are so many books out now about partisanship, polarization, and civility. We need help to keep up with the flow. Having book summaries of 1-10 pages for each book will help us (contributors) all get up to speed, and will be a great resource for visitors, teachers, students, and even politicians who want to learn about this important topic but don't have the time to read books.  The book summaries are all done as blog entries, which are then linked to on the "Book Summaries" page.

8) Blog! All contributors are encouraged to write blog posts whenever they want to. You can write about current events, or your own research, or recent research articles… anything that is relevant to political civility and the functioning of our political institutuions. 

Norms for adding and editing:
–Our goal is to collaborate in such a way that we produce a great site wtihout a great deal of work from any one person.
–All contributors can and should add links and ideas wherever they think relevant. Dont' be shy!
–The editor of each page exercises oversight over that page. The editor can rearrange material posted by others, annotate it, move it to a different page, or delete it if he/she thinks it is not appropriate or not reliable. Dont' be hurt if one of your contributions is modified or removed. If you disagree repeatedly with an editor about how a page is being handled, please notify one of the directors (Haidt, Motyl, or Iyer).

Our goal is to educate the public about social science research on improving inter-group relations across moral divides.