No additional evidence that proximity to the July 4th holiday affects affective polarization

M.J. Brandt*, F.M. Turner-Zwinkels

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Abstract

One promising approach for reducing affective polarization is priming a shared American identity and one promising event to prime that identity is the 4th of July. Prior work showed that proximity to the 4th of July reduced affective polarization. We conceptually replicated this study using a 9-wave longitudinal design in 2019. We found no short-term or long-term effects of the 4th of July on social distance from partisan and ideological ingroups or outgroups. Notably, our within-subjects design was able to identify the existence of individual differences in social distance trajectories across time, but there were not individual differences in short-terms changes in social distance in close proximity to the 4th of July. Additional analyses, did not find consistent predictors of these individual differences, suggesting a clear gap for future studies. Although priming a shared American identity may be effective, these findings suggest that the salutary effects of the 4th of July holiday do not emerge in 2019.
Keywords: Affective polarization; political prejudice; common ingroup identity; July 4th
Original languageEnglish
Article number39
JournalCollabra: Psychology
Volume6
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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