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IACM 2023

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Change We Can’T Believe In: Distrust of Political Converts

We propose and test three hypotheses regarding how people respond to political converts— individuals who switch their voting from one political party to another. Across two experiments, using behavioral and attitudinal measures of trust in two different countries, we find evidence that people simultaneously trust in-party members more than out-party members and party maintainers more than party switchers (i.e., political converts). We additionally find that this increased trust in party maintainers holds when evaluating just out-party members or just in-party members independently. Finally, we find inconsistent evidence that these results are moderated by ideology. We discuss implications of this work for intergroup relations, polarization, and impression formation.

Julian Zlatev
Harvard University
United States

Amos Schurr
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

Nir Halevy
Stanford University
United States


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