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U.s. Conservatives Or Progressives: Whose Ideological Prejudice Is Stronger?

People see societal groups as less moral, warm, and likable if their ideology is more dissimilar to the ideology of the self (a.k.a. ideological prejudice). This paper contributes to the debate on whether ideological prejudice in the U.S. is stronger in conservatives or equally strong in conservatives and progressives. The paper examines two debate-independent research programs. The American National Election Studies (ANES) find that between 1972 and 2020, ideological prejudice developed from stronger in progressives to stronger in conservatives. However, studies conducted to develop the Agency-Beliefs-Communion (ABC) model of stereotypes about groups find that between 2016 and 2021, ideological prejudice was stronger in progressives. The paper reports various analyses of both research programs and a new study that rule out several explanations for this contradiction. Perhaps nationally representative (ANES) versus convenient (ABC) sampling of study participants explains the contradiction. If this is true, ideological prejudice would be stronger in conservatives.

Johanna Woitzel
Ruhr-University Bochum, Department of Psychology

Alex Koch
University of Chicago Booth School of Business
United States


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