Talk:Overton window

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Moved to Mainspace[edit]

Alright, it looks like a decent article at this point. Heck, it might even be close to bronzeworthy, but then again, probably not. Not a stub, but a little heavy on the examples. Any thoughts on what should be added? Trimmed? CoryUsar (talk) 23:39, 27 January 2021 (UTC)

In my opinion, the article is light on citations, particularly in the healthcare and gun control sections. Also a good addition might be discussing the drastic changes of public opinion of former presidents. Woodrow Wilson and Andrew Jackson used to be considered among America's best presidents, but now I'm seeing a common view of them both being among the worst, largely due to their racism being more heavily scrutinized. (talk) 23:48, 27 January 2021 (UTC)
Well that's very interesting. It occurs to me that a vast range of topics would fall within the ambit of this idea. Ideas which might be acceptable or even normative in one time and place being anathema in another time and place. I can think of: blasphemy, age of consent, incest, institutional systems of punishment, appropriate dress codes/nudity, sexuality in general, eugenics - the list goes on and on.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 16:51, 28 January 2021 (UTC)
Heck, even in the Abortion section, there's a tangent I added about how Nixon supported abortion of mixed race babies, but the simple fact that it was in the Nixon tapes instead of public is also a demonstration of the Overton Window and its shift; Nixon clearly knew that blatantly racist talk was outside the scope of "acceptable" speech, thus he kept it private even though that was his actual POV. In fact, I'm going to add a line or two about people "sensing" the OW now...CoryUsar (talk) 16:56, 28 January 2021 (UTC)

Some criticism might be appropriate[edit]

I don't have strong feelings about this article, but I do think the overall tone is less skeptical than I would prefer. The article presents the concept as if it were actually useful. I don't know that it is anything but a new name for an old idea. Politicians have always tried to do what was popular while maintaining support among what they saw as their core constituency. I don't advocate using the Urban Dictonary in general, but here is a salty example critical of the concept as right wing nonsense (ca 2010). Food for thought. UncleKrampus (talk) 18:09, 1 February 2021 (UTC)

Well, I admit, I don't find much academic research substantiating(or dismissing) the concept by name, but I think it's safe to say that this beast has escaped whatever right wing fence it was originally raised in. I'd like to see a more empirical and less subjective substantiation of it, but I don't know what approach to take in that. Certainly self-imposed censorship boards in the media were enough for me to point at and say "See, that's thing". But I don't know how to get beyond that into real, serious analysis. ikanreed 🐐Bleat at me 18:55, 1 February 2021 (UTC)
The OW as a concept is mostly "common sense" so I'm not sure how much critical analysis can actually be done. "There are opinions you can't say in public, which you used to be able to say when I was growing up" is something everyone is already familiar with, the OW is just a more formalized way of looking at that. Much of the soft sciences is full of obvious, "anyone could've thought of that", "common sense" ideas that actually are only obvious after the fact or aren't actually that "common" and idea. It's probably the best feature of the soft sciences, at least when not hidden behind meaningless jargon, that they are full of "obvious" but important concepts which are accessible to the general masses. Corncob (chat) 22:20, 1 February 2021 (UTC)
Common sense is the collection of biases acquired by age 18. If it really bypasses all need for empirical validation by way of obviousness, then empirical validation ought to be trivial. ikanreed 🐐Bleat at me 18:11, 5 February 2021 (UTC)
So... you want to empirically test whether or not 1) there's a range of stances on an issue you can say in public, 2) this range can change over time, and 3) special interests can attempt to shift or contract the range in their favor? Corvette (talk) 22:29, 5 February 2021 (UTC)
@UncleKrampus@CorruptUser I agree with both of you. The 'Overton window' seems trivial and uninteresting, obvious to common-sense. Its pretensions of being intellectually respectable need to be addressed in the article. →Leucippus 15:48, 6 February 2021 (UTC)
Yes, I would at the very least like to propose a proper hypothesis form of #1. Define "can say" based on some criteria, define "range" in some way that can arrange sentences or beliefs on some kind of spectrum, and find a controlled test that corroborates that there is a centromere with high acceptance and increasing rejection on either end. Proceed to validate that that pattern repeats across multiple kinds of beliefs. As you scope up past that to 2 and 3, meaningful tests become harder(just like any theory), but #1 failing to validate would undercut 2 and 3, regardless. ikanreed 🐐Bleat at me 16:34, 8 February 2021 (UTC)