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Liz Connors @ Online Hot Politics Lab

April 23, 2021 @ 3:00 pm 4:00 pm

In this session of the Online Hot Politics Lab, Liz Connors (University of South Carolina) will give a talk titled “Partisan Social Pressure and Affective Polarization.

Abstract: American politics today is affectively polarized—partisans report disliking and distrusting out-partisans while liking and trusting in-partisans. I examine if this climate could encourage partisans to report higher levels of affective polarization. I test this with two survey experiments (one with a convenience sample and one with a nationally representative sample from NORC’s AmeriSpeak panel) and a set of analyses of 2008 American National Election Studies (ANES) data. My findings demonstrate that there is partisan social pressure to report affective polarization and that this could inflate survey responses, suggesting implications for the measurement of polarization, greater nuance in our understanding of polarization, and the potential for a “snowball effect” of political climates—where a climate of polarization could beget more polarization. Future work is needed for a broader understanding of how social context shapes expressions of partisanship.

The talk will be followed by a Q&A, and everbody is welcome to join via Zoom: https://uva-live.zoom.us/j/96492065253  at 3pm (CET).