Accessible Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter June 9, 2018

Seeing Red (or Blue): How Party Identity Colors Political Cognition

Stephen N. Goggin and Alexander G. Theodoridis
From the journal The Forum

Abstract

Many Americans associate themselves with their political party in a deep, visceral way. Voter identification with a political party has powerful implications for not just how voters behave, but how there are exposed to and receive information about the world. We describe how this tying of one’s self-concept to a party, which can be analogous to die-hard sports fandom, plays a central role in political cognition. It leads voters identifying with the two parties to perceive the political (and even seemingly apolitical) world in dramatically different ways. We detail the psychological mechanisms by which this party identity produces these distortions and offer examples of the bias that emerges. We conclude by discussing the implications of these phenomena for perpetuating our current hyper-polarized political discourse.


Corresponding author: Alexander G. Theodoridis, Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, University of California, Merced, Merced, CA, USA

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Published Online: 2018-6-9

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