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Tuesday, April 24 • 10:00am - 11:30am
Does Party Trump Principal? The Role Of Partisanship As A Social Identity In Dictating Voting Behavior

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Since the 2016 presidential election, social psychologists as well as the general public have expressed renewed interest in the influence of partisan identification on voting behavior. More specifically, does partisan identity exert a greater influence on voting behavior than substantive policy positions? We investigated this question by presenting subjects with one of two fake newspaper articles depicting Democratic and Republican candidates competing in an election for local political office. In the control condition, candidates held policy stances in line with their respective party platform. In the experimental condition, candidate’s policy positions diverged from the party line. Subjects were then asked to choose which candidate they would vote for if this election were to be taking place in their municipality of residence. After being questioned as to vote choice, subjects completed a measure of social group identity in reference to their political party. We hypothesize that when candidates diverge from the party line on issues of moderate saliency, voters who view their political party as a social identity will be more likely to vote according to their partisan identification rather than candidate’s policy stance. Subjects were recruited from the UNC Asheville community and via Amazon Mechanical Turk. Statistical results will be presented and discussed in light of relevant theory.

Tuesday April 24, 2018 10:00am - 11:30am PDT
Sherrill Center Concourse

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