"How Could Anyone Believe That?" Interacting With Unfamiliar Beliefs Across the Political Divide

Project: Research project

Project Details


My dissertation begins by addressing the long-standing question about the amount of ideology in the public (Kinder and Kalmoe 2017; Jost 2020). Drawing from Jost (2020) and other proponents of a psychological model of ideology, I discuss differing theoretical assumptions between those who think the public is innocent of ideology and those who see ideology everywhere. In Study 1, I offer a new approach for measuring ideological consistency by incorporating assumptions from the psychological research. Chief among these is the proposition that views of the world as dangerous or not serve as the ideologies’ main organizing principle. I expect the results to show that the traditional measures underestimate the amount of ideology in the public. Then, in Study 2, I look for affinities between particular ideological values (connected with the dangerous world outlook) and negative out-party attitudes. In other words, I investigate whether negative out-party attitudes imply endorsements/refutations of specific ideological premises. Study 3 is a survey experiment with an “emphasizing commonalities” treatment and an “explaining differences” treatment. I investigate the effects of these interventions on animosity and willingness to engage in cross-cutting political discussion
Effective start/end date4/25/224/24/23


  • Rapoport Family Foundation (Award Letter 4/22/22)


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