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J Pers Soc Psychol. 2003 Nov;85(5):808-22.

Party over policy: The dominating impact of group influence on political beliefs.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06520-8205, USA. geoffrey.cohen@yale.edu

Abstract

Four studies demonstrated both the power of group influence in persuasion and people's blindness to it. Even under conditions of effortful processing, attitudes toward a social policy depended almost exclusively upon the stated position of one's political party. This effect overwhelmed the impact of both the policy's objective content and participants' ideological beliefs (Studies 1-3), and it was driven by a shift in the assumed factual qualities of the policy and in its perceived moral connotations (Study 4). Nevertheless, participants denied having been influenced by their political group, although they believed that other individuals, especially their ideological adversaries, would be so influenced. The underappreciated role of social identity in persuasion is discussed.

PMID:
14599246
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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