Department of Political Science

Self-Affirmation and Identity-Driven Political Behavior

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review

DOI

  • Benjamin A. Lyons
  • ,
  • Christina E. Farhart
  • ,
  • Michael P. Hall
  • ,
  • Kotcher John
  • ,
  • Matthew Levendusky
  • ,
  • Joanne M. Miller
  • ,
  • Brendan Nyhan
  • ,
  • Kaitlin T. Raimi
  • ,
  • Jason Reifler
  • ,
  • Kyle L. Saunders
  • ,
  • Rasmus Skytte
  • Xiaoquan Zhao
Psychological attachment to political parties can bias people’s attitudes, beliefs, and group evaluations. Studies from psychology suggest that self-affirmation theory may ameliorate this problem in the domain of politics on a variety of outcome measures. We report a series of studies conducted by separate research teams that examine whether a self-affirmation intervention affects a variety of outcomes, including political or policy attitudes, factual beliefs, conspiracy beliefs, affective polarization, and evaluations of news sources. The different research teams use a variety of self-affirmation interventions, research designs, and outcomes. Despite these differences, the research teams consistently find that self-affirmation treatments have little effect. These findings suggest considerable caution is warranted for researchers who wish to apply the self-affirmation framework to studies that investigate political attitudes and beliefs. By presenting the “null results” of separate research teams, we hope to spark a discussion about whether and how the self-affirmation paradigm should be applied to political topics.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Experimental Political Science
Number of pages16
ISSN2052-2630
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Feb 2021

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