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Date Permissions Signed

5-8-2018

Date of Award

Spring 2018

Document Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Riordan, Catherine A.

Second Advisor

Devenport, Jennifer.

Third Advisor

Lemm, Kristi M.

Abstract

The current study examines how like-minded media consumption and inter-party hostility contribute to the formation of political stereotypes. More specifically, I investigated stereotypes about Democrats’ and Republicans’ general willingness to accept inequality among social groups. Prior research indicates that political stereotypes tend to be exaggerations of actual liberal-conservative differences in personality. However, researchers know little about the factors contributing to Democrats’ and Republicans’ expression of exaggerated partisan stereotypes. I hypothesized that like-minded media consumption, inter-party hostility, and Democratic Party affiliation would be positive predictors of stereotype exaggeration. To test this hypothesis, 259 U.S. partisan adults completed the Social Dominance Orientation Scale. Using an instructional manipulation they took the scale three times: As themselves, as if they were the average Democrat, and as if they were the average Republican. Then participants completed measures of media consumption, inter-party hostility, and party affiliation. The data indicated that Democrats exhibited higher levels of stereotype exaggeration when compared to Republicans. Also, like-minded media consumption and inter-party hostility were positive predictors of stereotype exaggeration. Exploratory analyses indicated that like-minded media consumption predicted stereotype exaggeration which, in turn, was associated with lower expectations for public deliberation. I interpret the results by drawing on social identity theory and research in media studies.

Type

Text

Publisher

Western Washington University

OCLC Number

1038280669

Digital Format

application/pdf

Geographic Coverage

United States

Genre/Form

Academic thesis

Language

English

Rights

Copying of this thesis in whole or in part is allowable only for scholarly purposes. It is understood, however, that any copying or publication of this thesis for commercial purposes, or for financial gain, shall not be allowed without the author' written permission.

Included in

Psychology Commons

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