Title

Malleability of Political Attitudes Surrounding the 2016 Presidential Election

Abstract

Frustrated with their political disagreement, John Stewart replied to Rick Santorum, “Ultimately, you end up getting to this point, where literally we can’t get any further. I don’t think you’re a bad dude, but I literally can’t convince you.” Inspired by interactions like this, we sought to explore psychological differences in politics. We examined the malleability of political attitudes in the context of the 2016 presidential election. Negative political advertisements and the Fear of Death Scale (creating mortality salience) were used. Participants’ explicit political attitudes were measured before and after the election, as were their implicit political attitudes through sensitivity to deviance. In our presentation, we hypothesize that political ads and mortality salience create a shift toward conservatism, as might the subsequent election of Trump. These shifts may differ according to people’s initially declared political affiliations. With this past year’s controversial election, these issues are more salient than ever.

Faculty Sponsor

Emily Bushnell

Tracks

Power and Politics

Terms of Use

ARMINDA Terms of Use

Location

Olin 138

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

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Apr 11th, 2:15 PM Apr 11th, 2:30 PM

Malleability of Political Attitudes Surrounding the 2016 Presidential Election

Olin 138

Frustrated with their political disagreement, John Stewart replied to Rick Santorum, “Ultimately, you end up getting to this point, where literally we can’t get any further. I don’t think you’re a bad dude, but I literally can’t convince you.” Inspired by interactions like this, we sought to explore psychological differences in politics. We examined the malleability of political attitudes in the context of the 2016 presidential election. Negative political advertisements and the Fear of Death Scale (creating mortality salience) were used. Participants’ explicit political attitudes were measured before and after the election, as were their implicit political attitudes through sensitivity to deviance. In our presentation, we hypothesize that political ads and mortality salience create a shift toward conservatism, as might the subsequent election of Trump. These shifts may differ according to people’s initially declared political affiliations. With this past year’s controversial election, these issues are more salient than ever.

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