You may think you’re right…Young adults are more liberal than they realize

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Ethan Zell, Assistant Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: Do people have biased perceptions of their political orientation? Based on the link between political conservatism and in-group loyalty, we predicted that people would underestimate their liberalism and that this effect would be more pronounced among political conservatives. Young adults indicated their self-perceived political orientation and completed an objective measure of political orientation, which placed them along a liberal-conservative continuum by comparing their attitudes on 12 core issues (e.g., gay marriage, welfare) to population norms. Participants showed a significant bias toward perceiving themselves as more conservative than they actually were, and this effect was more pronounced among independents and conservatives than liberals. Further, biased self-perceptions of political orientation predicted voting behavior in the 2012 Presidential Election after controlling for objective political orientation scores. Discussion highlights theoretical implications for self-knowledge research and practical implications for American politics more broadly.

Additional Information

Social Psychological and Personality Science, 5(3), 326-333
Language: English
Date: 2013
self-perception, self-knowledge, political orientation, liberalism, conservatism, social psychology, personality science

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