Perceptions of Uncivil Discourse Online: An Examination of Types and Predictors

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120 Scopus citations


Incivility in public discourse has become a pressing concern of citizens and scholars alike, but most research has focused narrowly on incivility in elite discourse. The present study examines how the lay public perceives incivility, using two surveys to track differences in perceptions of specific types of uncivil speech and identify predictors of those perceptions. The results show that different types of incivility elicit different responses. In particular, name-calling and vulgarity were rated as more uncivil than were other speech acts. In addition, several demographic, personality, and news consumption variables were analyzed as predictors of incivility perceptions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)795-814
Number of pages20
JournalCommunication Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - Aug 1 2020


  • civility
  • incivility
  • online comments
  • online discourse
  • political discourse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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