17 Jan 2015
Ari Malka and Michael Inzlicht wrote an op-ed in the Sunday Times that discusses some of our recent work, which was published in JPSP.
"Analyzing responses from over 70,000 people from 51 countries, we found that people with a conservative personality did indeed tend to adopt culturally conservative attitudes on matters like abortion, homosexuality and immigration. On this count, the rigidity of the right model seems to be valid.
But when it came to economic matters related to social welfare policy and economic intervention — the central feature of the left-right divide in much of the world — the results were far different. People with a conservative personality tended to lean slightly to the left.""
21 Jul 2014
Paul Sniderman and my paper on ideological asymmetries in American politics has formally been accepted at BJPS. The current draft can be found here.
Most Americans support liberal policies on the Social Welfare agenda, the dominant policy cleavage in American politics. Yet, a striking feature of the American party system is its tendency to equilibrium. How, then, does the Republican Party minimize defection on the Social Welfare agenda? There is, our results show, a deep ideological asymmetry between the parties. Republican identifiers are ideologically aware and oriented to a degree that far exceeds their Democratic counterparts. Our investigation, which utilizes cross-sectional, longitudinal, and experimental data, demonstrates the role of ideological awareness and involvement in the Republicans’ ability to maintain the backing of their supporters even on issues on which the position of the Democratic Party is widely popular. It also exposes two mechanisms, party branding and the use of the status quo as a focal point, by which Democrats retain or rally support on those issues on the Social Welfare agenda on which the position of the Republican Party is widely popular.
12 Jul 2014
Ryan Enos published a fascinating study both methodologically and substantively. The study estimates ``the causal effects of repeated intergroup contact, in which Spanish-speaking confederates were randomly assigned to be inserted, for a period of days, into the daily routines of unknowing Anglo-whites living in homogeneous communities in the United States, thus simulating the conditions of demographic change.''
The top line in the figure above shows the ATE of people that had 3 days; the bottom line shows 10 days. Higher values indicate a a larger difference in exclusionary attitudes between treatment and control. The fact that the effects get smaller with more contact adds a wrinkle to the story. Maybe intergroup contact increases threat temporarily. Perhaps after a month or two, the effects may go the other way (more supportive of immigration), and, therefore, in line with Allport and intergroup contact.
11 Jul 2014
Democratic rule requires a certain level of political knowledge. 60 years of research indicates we are lacking it. In a working paper, Crag Burnett and Matt McCubbins show people know only slightly more about rules of the road and less about sports, popular culture, geography. Not sure if this is an optimistic story or not.