Political Behavior, Perceived Similarity to the Candidates, and Defensiveness: The Curious Case of a Group of First-Time Voters in a Bellwether-Swing-State in 2016
Self and Identity
Using a sample of 258 first-time voters in a bellwether swing state during the 2016 U.S. presidential election, we examined the extent to which people assumed that the major presidential candidates shared their values and defensiveness about these assumptions. Participants estimated their agreement with the two major-party candidates, completed an online quiz about their beliefs, and then received feedback about their actual agreement with the candidates. Consistent with hypotheses, Trump supporters overestimated their agreement with Trump and underestimated their agreement with Clinton on political issues. To the extent that they did so, they showed greater negative affective and defensive reactions to feedback. On the other hand, Clinton supporters unexpectedly underestimated their agreement with Clinton and only slightly underestimated their agreement with Trump. Also surprisingly, Clinton Supporters were largely unmoved learning that they misestimated their agreement with Clinton.
Taylor and Francis
Howell, Jennifer L. and O'Mara, Erin M., "Political Behavior, Perceived Similarity to the Candidates, and Defensiveness: The Curious Case of a Group of First-Time Voters in a Bellwether-Swing-State in 2016" (2018). Psychology Faculty Publications. 37.
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