Reactions to Depictions of Intergroup Similarity and Distinctiveness Among Liberals and Conservatives

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ProQuest, 2008 - 54 pages
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Reactions to an intergroup distinctiveness manipulation and a potential mechanism of intergroup boundary maintenance between liberals and conservatives were investigated. In Study 1, self-identified liberals and conservatives (N = 121) read an ostensible newspaper article depicting either high or low levels of distinctiveness between their groups on political issues and responded to items assessing the consistency of the encountered article with held views and attitudes towards the article's content. Participants' level of identification with their political orientation category moderated the relationship between distinctiveness and reported consistency. Study 2 (N = 152) tested whether threatened intergroup distinctiveness by way of the distinctiveness manipulation would lead to selective exposure to more extreme outgroup sources. No support for this mechanism of boundary reassertion was found. However, strength of preference for the chosen clip and a measure of openness to experience were each positively related to the odds of selecting an extreme versus a moderate outgroup source to view.

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