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where RU: Aresty poster 157 - Party Label Rather than Content Drives Agreement with Political Quotes by Aresty Posters 2009

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Taken by
Aresty Posters 2009 Aresty Posters 2009
Explore score
0.06 Gigapixels
Date added
May 19, 2009
Date taken
May 18, 2009

Party Politics: Party Label Rather than Content Drives Agreement with Political Quotes

Political research has long sought to understand the forces that drive how voters choose the candidates they support. Indeed, party affiliation has been shown to be a reliable indicator of voter preference (Campbell et. al., 1960). But how strong is the influence of party identification on the electorate. We conducted a web-based questionnaire study to examine how influential partisan labels affected voter decision making. 174 participants first placed themselves on a continuum of party identification ranging from strongly Republican to strongly Democrat. They then rated their agreement with 15 quotes from actual politicians during the 2008 US Presidential campaign. For each participant, one third of the quotes were correctly labeled with the party it represented, one third were incorrectly labeled (i.e. a quote from a Democratic candidate was labeled ?Republican?), and one third which had no label. Counterbalanced across subjects, each quote appeared in each of the three conditions. We predicted that the party label would affect how much the participants agreed with the content of the quote. The results revealed a labeling effect such that participants showed higher agreement for quotes that were labeled with the party that they favored than for quotes labeled with the opposing party, regardless of whether the labeling was correct. Quotes with no label received neutral ratings. This finding has far reaching implications, especially in instances where group associations take precedence over support for the fundamental principles underlying the association in the first place.

Contact: Gretchen Chapman, Ph.D at gbc@rci.rutgers.edu

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