Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-768dbb666b-vkhs7 Total loading time: 0.299 Render date: 2023-02-03T18:27:49.050Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "useRatesEcommerce": false } hasContentIssue true

Do People Contrast and Assimilate Candidate Ideology? An Experimental Test of the Projection Hypothesis

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  26 April 2018

Karyn Amira*
Affiliation:
Department of Political Science, College of Charleston, 114 Wentworth St., Charleston, SC 29401, USA, e-mail: amiraka@CofC.edu

Abstract

In political psychology, positive projection happens when we perceive the positions of liked candidates as closer to our own positions while negative projection means we perceive the positions of disliked candidates as further from our own positions. To date, there is still confusion about whether affective feelings lead to perceptions of candidate positions or perceptions of candidate positions lead to affective feelings. This paper pins down one of these causal directions. I manipulate positive and negative feelings towards a fictitious candidate in a survey experiment to introduce them exogenously and examine whether they affect perceptions of candidate ideology. In line with some previous findings, the results indicate modest positive projection effects but no negative projection effects. Explanations for this asymmetry are discussed.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © The Experimental Research Section of the American Political Science Association 2018 

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Footnotes

Replication materials: The data, code, and any additional materials required to replicate all analyses in this article are available at the Journal of Experimental Political Science Dataverse within the Harvard Dataverse Network, at: doi:10.7910/DVN/SIGNC8

References

REFERENCES

Abramowitz, A. I. 1978. “The impact of a presidential debate on voter rationality.” American Journal of Political Science 22: 680–90CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Abramowitz, A. I. and Saunders, K. L. 2008. “Is polarization a myth?The Journal of Politics 70: 542–55CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Amira, Karyn A. 2018. “Do people contrast and assimilate candidate ideology? An experimental test of the projection hypothesis.” Harvard Dataverse, doi: 10.7910/DVN/SIGNC8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Brady, H. E. and Sniderman, P. M. 1985. “Attitude attribution: A group basis for political reasoning.” American Political Science Review 79: 1061–78.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Brent, E. E. and Granberg, D. 1982. “Subjective agreement with the presidential candidates of 1976 and 1980.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 42 (3): 393.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Broockman, D. and Butler, D. M. 2017. “The causal effects of elite position-taking on voter attitudes: Field experiment with elite communication.” American Journal of Political Science 68: 208–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Castelli, L., Arcuri, L. and Carraro, L. 2009. “Projection processes in the perception of political leaders.” Basic and Applied Social Psychology 31: 189–96.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Clifford, S., Jewell, R. M. and Waggoner, P. D. 2015. “Are samples drawn from Mechanical Turk valid for research on political ideology?Research & Politics 2: 19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Conover, P. and Feldman, S. 1982. “Projection and perception of candidates’ issue positions.” The Western Political Quarterly 35: 228–44CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Conover, P. and Feldman, S. 1989. “Candidate perception in an ambiguous world: Campaigns, cues and inference processes.” American Journal of Political Science 33: 912–40CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Erisen, C., Lodge, M. and Taber, C. S. 2014. “Affective contagion in effortful political thinking.” Political Psychology 35: 187206.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Feldman, S. and Conover, P. 1983. “Candidate, issues and voters: The role of inference in political perception.” The Journal of Politics 45: 810–39.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Granberg, D. 1987. “A contextual effect in political perception and self-placement on an ideology scale: Comparative analyses of Sweden and the US.” Scandanavian Political Studies 10: 3960.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Granberg, D. and Brent, E. 1980. “Perceptions of issue positions of presidential candidates: Candidates are often perceived by their supporters as holding positions on the issues that are closer to the supporters' views than they really are.” American Scientist 68: 617–25.Google Scholar
Granberg, D., Harris, W. and King, M. 1981. “Assimilation but little contrast in the 1976 U.S. Presidential Election.” The Journal of Psychology 108: 241–7CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Granberg, D. and Jenks, R. 1977. “Assimilation and contrast effects in the 1972 election.” Human Relations 30: 623–40.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Granberg, D. and King, M. 1980. “Cross-lagged panel analysis of the relation between attraction and perceived similarity.” Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 16: 573–81.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Insko, C. A., Songer, E. and McGarvey, W. 1974. “Balance, positivity, and agreement in the Jordan paradigm: A defense of balance theory.” Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 10: 5383.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kinder, D. R. 1978. “Political person perception: The asymmetrical influence of sentiment and choice on perceptions of presidential candidates.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 36: 859–71CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Krosnick, J. 1990. “Americans perceptions of presidential candidates: A test of the projection hypothesis.” Journal of Social Issues 46: 159–82.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lau, R. R. 1982. “Negativity in political perception.” Political Behavior 4: 353–77.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lodge, M., McGraw, K. M. and Stroh, P. 1989. “An impression-driven model of candidate evaluation.” American Political Science Review 83: 399419.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lodge, M. and Taber, C. S. 2005. “The automaticity of affect for political leaders, groups, and issues: An experimental test of the hot cognition hypothesis.” Political Psychology 26 (3): 455–82.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lodge, M. and Taber, C. S. 2013. The Rationalizing Voter. New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Mandisodza, A. N., Jost, J. T. and Unzueta, M. M. 2006“Tall poppies” and “American Dreams” reactions to rich and poor in Australia and the United States.” Journal of Cross-cultural Psychology 37: 659–68.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Markus, G. B. 1982. “Political attitudes during an election year: A report on the 1980 NES panel study.” American Political Science Review 76: 538–60CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Markus, G. B. and Converse, P. E. 1979. “A dynamic simultaneous equation model of electoral choice.” American Political Science Review 73: 1055–70.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
McCarty, N., Poole, K. T. and Rosenthal, H. 2006. Polarized America: The Dance of Ideology and Unequal Riches. vol. 5. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
Merrill, S., Grofman, B. and Adams, J. 2001. “Assimilation and contrast effects in voter projections of party locations: Evidence from Norway, France, and the USA.” European Journal of Political Research 40: 199221.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Newcomb, T. M. 1953. “An approach to the study of communicative acts.” Psychological Review 60 (6): 393.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Page, B. I. 1976. “The theory of political ambiguity.” American Political Science Review 70: 742–52.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Page, B. I. and Brody, R. A. 1972Comment: The assessment of policy voting.” American Political Science Review 66: 450–8.Google Scholar
Shepsle, K. A. 1972. “The strategy of ambiguity: Uncertainty and electoral competition.” American Political Science Review 66: 555–68.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Sherif, M. and Hovland, C. I. 1961. Social Judgment: Assimilation and Contrast Effects in Communication and Attitude Change. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
Sherrod, D. R. 1972. “Selective perception of political candidates.” Public Opinion Quarterly 35: 554–68.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Swindel, S. H. and Miller, M. M. 1986. “Mass media and political decision making: Application of the accumulated information model to the 1980 presidential election.” Annals of the International Communication Association 9: 642–57.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Supplementary material: File

Amira supplementary material

Online Appendices A and B

Download Amira supplementary material(File)
File 626 KB
Supplementary material: Link
Link
3
Cited by

Save article to Kindle

To save this article to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Do People Contrast and Assimilate Candidate Ideology? An Experimental Test of the Projection Hypothesis
Available formats
×

Save article to Dropbox

To save this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Do People Contrast and Assimilate Candidate Ideology? An Experimental Test of the Projection Hypothesis
Available formats
×

Save article to Google Drive

To save this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Do People Contrast and Assimilate Candidate Ideology? An Experimental Test of the Projection Hypothesis
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *