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

  • Karyn Amira (a1)


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.



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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



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

  • Karyn Amira (a1)


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