From Foe to Friend and Back Again: The Temporal Dynamics of Intra-Party bias in the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election

38 Pages Posted: 4 Oct 2016 Last revised: 29 Mar 2019

See all articles by Yarrow Dunham

Yarrow Dunham

Yale University

Antonio Arechar

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

David G. Rand

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Date Written: March 27, 2019

Abstract

Political identification is the basis of enduring conflict, suggesting that political attitudes are difficult to change. Here we show that in the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election, political identities underwent striking modification in response to salient political events. We investigate these dynamics in detail by collecting data at regular intervals from mid-June 2016 through the general election, N = 3,958. We operationalize identification using prosocial giving between supporters of competing primary candidates recruited from Amazon Mechanical Turk. Party dynamics differed dramatically. In-group bias among Democrats remained high until the Democratic National Convention, disappeared shortly thereafter, and then returned during the final stage of the election. Bias among Republicans was generally high until the final days of the election. Furthermore, giving predicted voting intentions, and potentially offered additional insight beyond polling: the late resurgence of bias among Democrats was not reflected in voting intentions, but may have presaged the Democratic election loss.

Keywords: Elections, Republicans, Democrats, Intra-party bias, Dictator Game

Suggested Citation

Dunham, Yarrow and Arechar, Antonio and Rand, David G., From Foe to Friend and Back Again: The Temporal Dynamics of Intra-Party bias in the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election (March 27, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2846915 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2846915

Yarrow Dunham

Yale University ( email )

New Haven, CT 06520
United States

HOME PAGE: http://socialcogdev.com

Antonio Arechar (Contact Author)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) ( email )

77 Massachusetts Avenue
50 Memorial Drive
Cambridge, MA 02139-4307
United States

David G. Rand

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) ( email )

77 Massachusetts Avenue
50 Memorial Drive
Cambridge, MA 02139-4307
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.daverand.org

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