|Image stolen from BlazingCatFur|
Blocking traffic, damaging property, rioting, and other forms of extreme protest behaviours can reduce popular support for social movements, a new study concludes.
The study, Extreme Protest Tactics Reduce Popular Support For Social Movements, was published in SSRN by Professor Matthew Feinberg of the University of Toronto, who told Campus Reform that he was inspired to investigate protest tactics during his tenure as a graduate student at the University of California, Berkeley, during which time he claimed that he “went to a lot of protests.”
Feinberg said that he and his former graduate advisor at UC Berkeley, Professor Robb Willer, “were wondering which tactics would be more successful than others and which tactics could be backfiring,” and began researching the issue, eventually adding Chloe Kovacheff, a Ph.D student at the University of Toronto, to their team.
In one experiment, Feinberg and his team exposed research participants to videos of people protesting for three current social movements: animal rights, Black Lives Matter, and anti-Trump protests. Feinberg then gauged whether the type of protest tactic that activists used in each scenario had an effect on research participants’ support for the social movement.