Fear and Loathing Across Party Lines: New Evidence on Group Popularization Shanty lounger and Sean J. Westwood Stanford University Draft: April 5, 2013 Abstract When defined In terms of social Identity and affect toward Len- and out- groups, the popularization of the American electorate has clearly increased. We document the scope and consequences of affective popularization using implicit, explicit, and behavioral indicators.
Our evidence demonstrates not only that hostile feelings for the out-party are ingrained or automatic in voters’ psyches, but also that effective popularization based on party surpasses popularization based on race and other social cleavages. After documenting the extent of implicit party popularization, we show that party cues exert powerful effects on non-political Judgments and behaviors. Partisans discriminate against out partisans, and do so to a degree that exceeds discrimination based on race.
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In this paper we amass new evidence on the extent of affective popularization In the united states using a variety of measures that go well beyond the standard survey indicators of group evaluation. We begin by developing a measure of implicit or subconscious partisan affect. Using this measure, we demonstrate first that more favorable feelings for the in party are ingrained or automatic in voters’ psyches. Next, to document the scale of partisan popularization, we compare group popularization across partisanship and race.
Although there is general agreement that race represents the deepest cleavage in American society (Myriad 1944; Pager and Shepherd 2008; Schuman et al. 1997), we show that the affective divide between Democrats and Republicans Is twice as large as the divide between whites and Blacks (a result we replicate with three different studies). After documenting the primacy of Implicit popularization by party, we proceed to examine the Influence of partisan affect on non-political Judgments and behaviors.
Partisans are prone to discriminate against out partisans, and do so to a 2 race or gender. Contrary to the assumptions of current work on partisan in-group preferences (e. G. , Alfred, Hattie, et al. 2011; Huber and Malory 2012; Munroe, Whew, and Tsar 2010; Stoker and Jennings 1995), we show that bias against out partisans is predicted by partisan affect, not homophony or similarity. In concluding, we note that strengthened effective popularization has important political ramifications.
Affective Popularization by Party: The State of the Evidence We define affective popularization as the tendency of people identifying as Republicans or Democrats to view each other as out-groups (Campbell et al. 1960; Green, Palmists, and Shackler 2004). The standard definition of an “out-group” is a disliked collectivity whose members are associated, by members of an “in-group,” with undesirable or inappropriate traits (Teasel and Turner 1979; Teasel 1970).
Classic studies by psychologists have demonstrated that the mere CT of identifying with a particular group no matter how trivial the basis for group assignment is sufficient to trigger negative evaluations of out-groups (see Billing and Teasel 1973). In the contemporary political environment in the United States, there is evidence of increasing hostility across party lines, which has been attributed to a variety of factors including candidates’ reliance on negative campaigning and the availability of news sources with a clear partisan preference (see lounger, Sod, and Likes 2012; Likes and lounger 2012).
Among Americans who say they identify with a lattice party, negative views of the out party and its supporters have risen sharply since the asses (Haiti and Withering 2012; lounger, Sod, and Likes 2012). Not only are group evaluations polarize along party lines, but the specific content of out- group stereotypes has also followed suit. While Republicans view fellow partisans as patriotic, well-informed, and altruistic, Democrats are Judged to exhibit precisely the opposite traits (see lounger, Sod, and Likes 2012).
Citizens are also more dubious of the 3 motivations and ulterior motives of politicians from opposing parties than co- artisans (Munroe, Whew, and Tsar 2010). Even more striking than the differences between in-group and out-group evaluations is the gradual encroachment of party preference into non-political and hitherto personal domains. Residential neighborhoods are increasingly politically homogeneous (Bishop 2009) making it likely that social interaction occurs among like-minded individuals (Mute 2006). Geographic distance creates social distance (Bugaboos 1925).
A standard measure of marrying into a family with a different party affiliation shows startling increases in the United States, but not in Britain (lounger, Sod, and Likes 2012). The preference for same-party marriage is but the tip of an evidentially iceberg concerning the growing encroachment of partisan cues into interpersonal relations. Actual marriage across party lines is infrequent (Stoker and Jennings 1995) and marital selection based on partisanship exceeds selection based on physical (e. G. Body shape) or personality attributes (Alfred, Hattie, et al. 2011).
The data from online dating sites are especially revealing. Even though single men and women seeking companionship online behave strategically and exclude political interests from their personal profiles Slotted, McDermott, and Hattie 2012), partisan agreement nevertheless predicts reciprocal communication between men and women seeking potential dates (Huber and Malory 2012). As the authors of one inter-marriage study put it, “the timeless character of political divisiveness may emanate not Just from the machinations of elites, but also from the nuances of courtship” (Alfred, Hattie, et al. 011, 378). All told, despite the absence of sharp ideological or partisan divergence in their policy preferences, Americans increasingly dislike people and groups on the other side of he political 4 divide. Heightened affective popularization has widened the reach of partisan cues; party affiliation increasingly constrains social and personal ties. Measurement Implications This trend toward increased affective popularization provides an opportunity to evaluate the classic social identity predictions of in-group and out- group affect in the context of party politics.
However, to do so requires a more nuanced measure of partisan identity that goes beyond solidification’s and includes evaluations of the respective in and out-groups. Given the importance of identity for affect and our interest in comparing affect based on partisanship and race, we employ measures less susceptible to cognitive processing and under- reporting caused by social desirability bias. Implicit measures reveal built-in, “automatic” associations between groups or symbols and positively or negatively valences attributes and facilitate comparisons of partisan affect to racial affect using the same method and metric.
Distinguishing Explicit from Implicit Attitudes Based on a considerable body of research, psychologists have come to believe that conscious aspects of attitudes and evaluations represent only a thin sliver of the mind’s work. There is a rapidly growing literature on the effects of implicit attitudes on relevant behavioral outcomes (Greenland, Policeman, et al. 2009; McConnell and Lobbied 2001 ; Knock and Banal 2007; Noses 2005). In the area of politics, for instance, several studies show that implicit measures of candidate or party preference predict voting choices (Racier et al. 008; Greenland, 5 Policeman, et al. 2009; Greenland, Smith, et al. 2009; Cam 2007). 1 The general argument is that implicit measures not subject to cognitive processing -are more accurate since they do not permit active masking or accentuation of feelings toward out-groups. Unobtrusive measures such as the Implicit Association Test (AT) developed by Greenland et al. (1998) and the brief version or BAIT developed by SRAM and Greenland (2009) are much harder to manipulate than explicit self- reports, producing more valid and less biased results (Ascenders, Banes, and M;cake 2002; Bosses, Vogel, and Madonna 2006).
Our first task is to develop a new implicit measure of partisan affect using the design of the BAIT. Study 1: Comparing Implicit ND Explicit Attitudes We designed Study 1 to measure implicit group affect based on partisan and racial identity. We measure implicit racial affect using the European American/African American BAIT and implicit partisan affect using a partisan BAIT that we created. Design We recruited a sample of 2,000 adults from the Survey Sampling International panel. Respondents completed both the African-American/ European-American BAIT and our partisan In the area of race, the evidence further suggests that implicit attitudes predict relevant behaviors. Dovish et al. (2002) found that whites’ implicit racial attitudes predicted on-verbal behavior toward blacks, while survey measures only predicted their attitudes predicted the stability and duration of roommate relationships among whites assigned a Black roommate.
In a Americana context, implicit anti-Muslim bias among Swedish hiring managers predicted the decision to select Swedes over equally qualified Muslim Job applicants (Roth 2010). 6 BAIT at the end of a survey instrument. To minimize possible order effects and to account for reductions in implicit attitude extremity among those who have completed one or more TATS (see Noses, Banana, and Greenland 2002), the order of he two Bitts was randomized. We overlapped African Americans and Hispanics (500 each) in order to capture racial affect among non-whites.