iyengar-poq-affect-not-ideology.pdf

The thermometer ratings were also part of the 2004

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The thermometer ratings were also part of the 2004 Issues Survey; respond- ents were asked to evaluate “Democrats” and “Republicans.” The 2008 AP-Yahoo! News did not include feeling thermometers, but respondents rated the two parties on a four-point scale ranging from “very unfavorable” to “very favorable.” In both studies, we took the difference in self-identified partisans’ ratings of the out- and in-parties as a measure of net partisan affect. This vari- able was rescaled to range between 0 and 1. Since 1964, ANES respondents have also rated “liberals” and “conserva- tives” on the thermometer. We use these ratings to carry out a parallel exami- nation of how affect toward ideological groups has fared over the years. In all the studies with the feeling thermometer questions, we use raw in- and out-group thermometer ratings as our measures of intra- and inter-party affect. However, when undertaking correlational analyses, we confine ourselves to a net difference measure (in-group score – out-group score), which is less sus- ceptible to measurement concerns (see Winter and Berinsky 1999 ), while we use both raw and differenced scores for mean comparisons. 6 FEELINGS CONCERNING INTER-PARTY MARRIAGE This measure of social distance was asked by Almond and Verba via the following question: “Suppose a son or daughter of yours was getting mar- ried. How would you feel if he or she married a supporter of the Republican/ Democratic (Conservative/Labor) Party? Would you be pleased, would you be displeased, or would it make no difference?” A version of this question was included in the 2008 YouGov study: “How would you feel if you had a son or daughter who married a Republican/Democrat (Conservative/Labor) supporter? Not at all upset, somewhat upset, very upset?” The same wording was adopted in the eleven-nation study, but respondents were offered a slightly altered set of options ranging from very unhappy to very happy. STEREOTYPES OF PARTY SUPPORTERS This indicator is limited to the YouGov 2008 study and, in a limited form, to the Almond and Verba study. YouGov 2008 included an extensive battery of trait 6. In all correlational analyses of the net thermometer ratings, we rescaled the difference to range between 0 and 1. A Social Identity Perspective on Polarization Page 7 of 27
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terms that respondents could select to describe “people who are Republicans or Democrats” (or Conservative or Labor) “supporters.” The terms were patri- otic, closed-minded, intelligent, hypocritical, selfish, honest, open-minded, generous, and mean. The Almond and Verba study asked respondents to think about “what sorts of people support and vote for the different parties.” Respondents indicated whether a set of positive and negative terms applied to party supporters. The terms included “interested in national strength and independence,” “selfish people,” “intelligent people,” “fascists and militarists,” “betrayers of freedom,” “ignorant and misguided people,” and “people interested in the welfare of humanity.”
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