About the project

The public sphere around media outlets offers many examples of dysfunctional behaviours that undermine the quality of public discourse. This is particularly the case with online public comments sections on news sites that attract thousands of people every day.

Can re-designing comments platforms promote more reason-based, intellectually humble dialogue? This is the question the Scholio project aims to explore, through a large-scale field experiment.

The field experiment will recruit ordinary citizens who read online news and randomly assign them to experience different perspective-taking instructions and platforms that organise and visualise comments in different ways. The project will also field-test a set of measures for investigating intellectual humility in online environments.

The aim of the Scholio project is to develop a scalable model for how news media institutions, and others, can incorporate comment platforms that promote reason-based, intellectually humble dialogue.

The project runs for two years from 1 March 2017.

Visit the Scholio project website

Read moreGo to About the project page

Funding body

Humility and Conviction in Public Life programme at the University of Connecticut / John Templeton Foundation


Graham Smith (Centre for the Study of Democracy), Michael Morrell (University of Connecticut) and Paolo Spada (Centre for the Study of Democracy/University of Coimbra)


Literature reviews on Behaviours on News Comments Platforms and Metrics for the Analysis of Intellectual Humility to be posted soon.

Conference papers and pre-publication versions of journal papers will also be posted.

Read moreGo to Publications page


To find out more about the Scholio project, contact the Principal Investigator Professor Graham Smith on [email protected] or any other member of the research team – see people.