Few things provoke as much emotion as efforts to silence and shut down people with different viewpoints on college campuses. Speakers are disinvited, speeches are interrupted, and students feel they can’t always voice their opinions. Conservatives tend to blame liberal professors for indoctrinating students, while liberals argue such free speech concerns are overblown.

Political science professor Timothy J. Ryan and marketing professor Mark McNeilly, both of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, find fault with each narrative. They discovered a different, internal factor that leads many students to keep their thoughts to themselves.

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Demonstrators shout slogans during a rally for free speech near the University of California, Berkeley campus. AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez

What liberals and conservatives get wrong about free expression on college campuses

Timothy Ryan, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Mark McNeilly, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

A lot of the pressure that leads college students to keep their views to themselves comes from other students, not faculty, new research shows.

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