Saturday, September 30, 2017

Encountering ideological conflict reduces well-being and humanity-esteem. Agreement doesn't add positive emotions

Brandt, Mark J, Jarret Crawford, and Daryl Van Tongeren. 2017. “Worldview Conflict in Daily Life”. PsyArXiv. September 29. doi:10.1177/1948550617733517.

Abstract: Building on laboratory and survey-based research probing the psychology of ideology and the experience of worldview-conflict, we examined the association between worldview-conflict and emotional reactions, psychological well-being, humanity-esteem, and political ideology in everyday life using experience sampling. In three combined samples (Total N= 328), experiencing disagreement compared to agreement was associated with experiencing more other-condemning emotions, less well-being, and less humanity-esteem. There were no clear associations between experiencing disagreement and experiencing self-conscious emotions, positive emotions, and mental stress. None of the relationships were moderated by political ideology. These results both replicate and challenge findings from laboratory and survey-based research, and we discuss possible reasons for the discrepancies. Experience sampling methods can help researchers get a glimpse into everyday worldview-conflict.

Check also: Frimer, J. A., Skitka, L. J., & Motyl, M. (2017). Liberals and conservatives are similarly motivated to avoid exposure to one another’s opinions. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 72, 1–12.

Abstract : Ideologically committed people are similarly motivated to avoid ideologically crosscutting information. Although some previous research has found that political conservatives may be more prone to selective exposure than liberals are, we find similar selective exposure motives on the political left and right across a variety of issues. The majority of people on both sides of the same-sex marriage debate willingly gave up a chance to win money to avoid hearing from the other side (Study 1). When thinking back to the 2012 U.S. Presidential election (Study 2), ahead to upcoming elections in the U.S. and Canada (Study 3), and about a range of other Culture War issues (Study 4), liberals and conservatives reported similar aversion toward learning about the views of their ideological opponents. Their lack of interest was not due to already being informed about the other side or attributable election fatigue. Rather, people on both sides indicated that they anticipated that hearing from the other side would induce cognitive dissonance (e.g., require effort, cause frustration) and undermine a sense of shared reality with the person expressing disparate views (e.g., damage the relationship; Study 5). A high-powered meta-analysis of our data sets (N = 2417) did not detect a difference in the intensity of liberals’ (d = 0.63) and conservatives’ (d = 0.58) desires to remain in their respective ideological bubbles.

Keywords: selective exposure; confirmation bias; motivation; liberals and conservatives; ideological symmetry

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