Replication-Extension of 'Not for All the Tea in China!' Political Ideology and the Avoidance of Dissonance-Arousing Situations' (Nam, Jost, & Van Bavel, 2013, Plos One)
31 Pages Posted: 11 Dec 2013
Date Written: December 6, 2013
In this study we attempted to replicate and extend Nam, Jost, and van Bavel's (2013) finding that political conservatives are more likely to avoid dissonance-arousing situations relative to political liberals. Across two studies, Nam et al. (2013) found that conservatives were less willing to write essays in support of Democratic presidents (Obama, Study 1; Clinton, Study 2) than were liberals to write essays in support of Republican presidents (Bush, Study 1; Reagan, Study 2). We received access to Nam et al.’s materials to construct our study, and increased sample size relative to theirs. Further, we included measures of need for closure (NFC), participants' confidence in science, and the perceived ideology of the experimenters in order to test motivated social cognition and confidence in the experiment as possible mechanisms for the effect. Contrary to Nam et al.’s findings, conservatives and liberals were equally likely to avoid dissonance arousing situations. We found some limited evidence that the dependent variable may index compliance as opposed to desire to engage in dissonance arousing behavior.
Keywords: ideology, politics, psychology, dissonance, replication
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