iyengar-poq-affect-not-ideology.pdf

Average number positive traits 93 20 72 negative

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Average number Positive traits 2.86 .62 2.24*** 1.93 .42 1.52*** .93*** .20*** .72*** Negative traits .22 1.93 –1.70*** .13 1.29 –1.15*** .09** .64*** –.55*** Positive – Negative –1.31 2.63 3.94*** –.87 1.80 2.67*** –.44*** .84*** 1.27*** N 656 817 Note.—* p < .05; ** p < .01; *** p < .001. Tests of significance are two-tailed. All data are weighted. Sample limited to Republicans and Democrats in the United States, and to Labor and Conservative supporters in the UK. Source.—Almond and Verba in 1960 and YouGov/Polimetrix in 2008. a For a full list of trait ratings, see the Online Appendix. A Social Identity Perspective on Polarization Page 15 of 27
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offer more positive ratings of their party; for Conservatives, the in-party bias was 0.25; for Labor, it was 0.18. The difference in the average level of in-party bias across the two nations (0.12 in the United States and 0.22 in Britain) was significant ( p <  .01). Negative stereotypes of party supporters revealed the very same pattern— relatively lower levels of out-party stereotyping among American partisans. In 1960, Democrats and Republicans were more apt to impute negative traits to their opponents by a margin of less than 0.1. (Note, however, that many more were willing to label out-partisans as selfish.) Partisans in the UK were only slightly more negative in their beliefs about the opposition. The cross-national difference in out-group bias, although modest, was significant (difference = .05, p <  .01). Between 1960 and 2008, stereotyping of partisan supporters and opponents increased exponentially. Among the Americans, in-party bias—the tendency to view one’s party more favorably than the opposition—climbed from 0.47 to 2.86! 12 The increase in negative stereotyping of the out-party was just as extensive; in comparison with 1960, Democrats and Republicans were nearly fifty percent more likely to associate negative traits with opponents than sup- porters in 2010. When we limit the over-time comparisons to the pair of common indicators, the trend is no less spectacular. The level of in-group favoritism on intelligence increased from 0.06 to 0.48 in the U.S. sample and from 0.17 to 0.29 in the UK sample. The tendency to rate opponents more than supporters as selfish increased from 0.21 to 0.47 in the American samples and actually declined from 0.29 to 0.28 in the UK data. The dramatic strengthening of party stereotypes in the United States was not matched in Britain. In the case of positive traits, in-party bias increased to 0.41 among Conservative identifiers (an increase of 200 percent) and remained stable at 0.22 among Labor supporters. The accentuation in negative beliefs about the other side increased to 0.3 for Conservatives and 0.28 for Laborites. Thus, by 2008, party stereotypes were significantly more polarized among Americans. 13 The changes over time and the pattern of cross-national differences in the trait ratings both indicate that party stereotypes were initially weak, but 12. The 2008 survey included five positive traits—generous, honest, intelligent, open-minded, and patriotic. The negative set consisted of mean, hypocritical, selfish, and closed-minded.
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Christopher Reinemann
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