Identity Politics, Political Ideology, and Well-being: Is Identity Politics Good for Our Well-being?
Sociological Forum, forthcoming
Research indicates that political progressives have lower levels of mental well-being than political conservatives. However, while attention has been paid to why conservatives have higher levels of well-being relatively little attention has been used to examine why progressives may have comparatively low levels of well-being. Recent events connected to a “Great Awokening” suggest that identity politics may correlate to a decrease in well-being particularly among young progressives and offer an explanation tied to internal elements within political progressiveness. Regression analysis with data from the Baylor Religion Survey indicates that identity political variables, but not a desire for higher government spending, are consistently negatively related to lower well-being and mediate the ability of progressive political ideology to predict lower levels of well-being. By paying attention to political progressives, rather than political conservatives, a nuanced approach to understanding the relationship between political ideology and well-being begins to emerge. It is plausible that political progressives are not equally prone to lower levels of well-being as those committed to a class-based type of progressive activism seem to be better off than those tied to issues of identity politics.
Political and racial neighborhood sorting: How is it changing?
Keith Ihlanfeldt & Cynthia Fan Yang
Public Choice, forthcoming
It is well known that the racial composition of a neighborhood influences who chooses to live there. Less established is whether the political party mix of the neighborhood influences neighborhood choice. In this paper, we study racial and political neighborhood sorting, their interaction, and how they are changing over time. Our methodology involves the estimation of a conditional logit model with data on hundreds of thousands of homebuyers whose race and political affiliation are known. The neighborhood choices of homeowners categorized by race and party are explained by a typology that defines neighborhoods by their dominance of a particular party and race/ethnicity. We find that both Democrats and Republicans prefer living in a neighborhood that matches their race and political party, but both show an increased willingness to live in a non-matched neighborhood over the past decade. Our results are encouraging, suggesting that both political and racial/ethnicity neighborhood segregation may subside in the future.
The consequences of heroization for exploitation
Matthew Stanley & Aaron Kay
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, forthcoming
The hero label has become a pervasive positive stereotype applied to many different groups and occupations, such as nurses, teachers, and members of the military. Although meant to show support, appreciation, and even admiration, we suggest that attaching this label to groups and occupations may actually have problematic consequences. Specifically, we theorize that the hero label may affect beliefs about the internal motivations of these group members that make them more vulnerable to exploitation. These ideas are tested and supported across nine preregistered studies using complementary materials and experimental paradigms. In these studies, we find that: (a) heroization strengthens expectations that teachers, nurses, and military personnel would willingly volunteer for their own exploitation; (b) the hero label and its consequences follow workers even after they transition to a new career (e.g., participants expected a military veteran -- relative to a matched nonveteran -- to be more willing to volunteer for his own exploitation at his subsequent civilian job, because the veteran was perceived to be more heroic than the matched nonveteran); and (c) occupational heroization -- likely because of its impact on beliefs regarding what heroized workers would freely choose to do -- reduces opposition to exploitative policies. In short, our studies show that heroization ultimately promotes worse treatment of the very groups that it is meant to venerate.
That’s Racist!: Political Correctness Predicts Accusations of Racism in Ambiguous Situations
Basic and Applied Social Psychology, October 2023, Pages 173-191
The present research reports three studies investigating the possibility that Political Correctness (PC) is associated with the tendency to claim racism in ambiguous interactions involving Black and White individuals, despite plausible alternative explanations. In Study 1, PC was significantly related to claiming racism in ambiguous scenarios. In Study 2, these results were replicated with open-ended and prompted scenarios. In Study 3, exposure to PC did not impact claims of racism, indicating the stability of trait PC. In all three studies, White Guilt mediated the relationship between PC and claiming racism, among Whites. Additionally, confidence in the accuracy of open-ended responses (Study 2) was much higher in PC participants, indicating heuristic thinking. Finally, PC predicted claiming racism beyond many related variables.
Rural Identity and LGBT Public Opinion in the United States
Public Opinion Quarterly, forthcoming
Opposition to LGBT rights remains a contemporary fixture within the United States in spite of increasingly liberalizing attitudes toward LGBT individuals. In this paper, I argue that a potentially overlooked factor driving this opposition is rural identity -- or an individual’s psychological attachment to a rural area. Using data from the 2020 ANES, I find that rural identity predicts less favorable estimations of LGBT individuals. Rural identifiers are also less likely to support pro-LGBT policy measures than nonrural identifiers. Nevertheless, I find the magnitude of the effects of rural identity on anti-LGBT views to be surprisingly small. It is also the case that, on average, rural identifiers exhibit net-positive estimations of LGBT individuals and are broadly supportive of LGBT rights, suggesting that elected officials enacting anti-LGBT legislation in rural areas of the United States are potentially out of step with the preferences of their electorate. These findings also have implications for what it means to hold a rural identity beyond a generalized animosity toward urban areas, and for understanding urban-rural divergences in US public opinion on issues such as LGBT rights.
“Shape bias” goes social: Children categorize people by weight rather than race
Rebecca Peretz-Lange & Melissa Kibbe
Developmental Science, forthcoming
Children tend to categorize novel objects according to their shape rather than their color, texture, or other salient properties -- known as “shape bias.” We investigated whether this bias also extends to the social domain, where it should lead children to categorize people according to their weight (their body shape) rather than their race (their skin color). In Study 1, participants (n = 50 US 4- and 5-year-olds) were asked to extend a novel label from a target object/person to either an object/person who shared the target's shape/weight, color/race, or neither. Children selected the shape-/weight-matched individual over the color-/race-matched individual (dobjects = 1.58, dpeople = 0.99) and their shape biases were correlated across the two domains. In Study 2, participants (n = 20 US 4- and 5-year-olds) were asked to extend a novel internal property from a target person to either a person who shared the target's weight, race, or neither. Again, children selected the weight-matched individual (d = 1.98), suggesting they view an individual's weight as more predictive of their internal properties than their race. Overall, results suggest that children's early shape bias extends into the social domain. Implications for weight bias and early social cognition are discussed.
Sorry to ask but ... how is apology effectiveness dependent on apology content and gender?
Beth Polin et al.
Journal of Applied Psychology, forthcoming
While it is well understood that the content included in an apology matters, what constitutes an effective apology may differ depending on the gender of the person delivering it. In this article, we test competing theoretical perspectives (i.e., role congruity theory and expectancy violation theory [EVT]) about the relative effectiveness of apologies that include language that conforms (or not) with the gender stereotypes ascribed to the apologizer. Results of four studies supported an EVT perspective and showed that apologies were perceived to be relatively more effective when they contradicted gender stereotypes (i.e., communal [agentic] apologies by men [women]). Specifically, Study 1 provided an initial test of the competing hypotheses using celebrity apologies on Twitter. Then, results of three experiments (Studies 2, 3a, and 3b) built upon these initial findings and tested the psychological mechanisms proposed by EVT to explain why counterstereotypical apologies are beneficial (i.e., attributions of interpersonal sensitivity [assertiveness] and enhanced perceptions of benevolence [competence] for men [women]). Our contributions to theory and practice are discussed.
Racial Steering in U.S. Housing Markets: When, Where, and to Whom Does It Occur?
Matthew Hall, Jeffrey Timberlake & Elaina Johns-Wolfe
Socius: Sociological Research for a Dynamic World, October 2023
Housing discrimination has long been thought to contribute to the persistence of racial segregation, yet evidence indicates that many forms of discrimination have waned over time. We argue that past work has not fully considered the role of racial steering in maintaining segregation. To explore patterns of steering, we leverage experimental audit data from the 2012 Housing Discrimination Study to examine how neighborhoods of homes shown by real estate agents to auditors change dynamically throughout the search process and to assess the conditions under which steering is most likely. As with past research, we find no evidence of steering in Asian-White or Hispanic-White audits. However, we find consistent evidence that agents steer Black homeseekers away from White neighborhoods and toward Black ones, particularly female homeseekers and those with children. We also find that agents steer relatively early in the search process and especially when searches begin in racially-homogeneous neighborhoods.
The Misandry Myth: An Inaccurate Stereotype About Feminists’ Attitudes Toward Men
Aífe Hopkins-Doyle et al.
Psychology of Women Quarterly, forthcoming
In six studies, we examined the accuracy and underpinnings of the damaging stereotype that feminists harbor negative attitudes toward men. In Study 1 (n = 1,664), feminist and nonfeminist women displayed similarly positive attitudes toward men. Study 2 (n = 3,892) replicated these results in non-WEIRD countries and among male participants. Study 3 (n = 198) extended them to implicit attitudes. Investigating the mechanisms underlying feminists’ actual and perceived attitudes, Studies 4 (n = 2,092) and 5 (nationally representative UK sample, n = 1,953) showed that feminists (vs. nonfeminists) perceived men as more threatening, but also more similar, to women. Participants also underestimated feminists’ warmth toward men, an error associated with hostile sexism and a misperception that feminists see men and women as dissimilar. Random-effects meta-analyses of all data (Study 6, n = 9,799) showed that feminists’ attitudes toward men were positive in absolute terms and did not differ significantly from nonfeminists'. An important comparative benchmark was established in Study 6, which showed that feminist women's attitudes toward men were no more negative than men's attitudes toward men. We term the focal stereotype the misandry myth in light of the evidence that it is false and widespread, and discuss its implications for the movement.
I Help You, You Help Me: Interracial Reciprocity in Situation Comedies Influences Racial Attitudes
Morgan Ellithorpe et al.
Media Psychology, forthcoming
In this manuscript, three studies examined the effects of viewing situation comedies on attitudes toward Black Americans. Study 1 was a content analysis of sitcoms that had either predominately Black casts (PBC) or predominately White casts (PWC) and showcased interracial interaction. It is found that positive cross-racial interaction (interracial reciprocity) occurs in both types of shows but is more common with PBC sitcoms. Study 2 was a survey that found watching PBC sitcoms was associated with reduced prejudice, while watching PWC sitcoms was associated with increased prejudice. These effects were mediated by positive reciprocity expectations for Black Americans, as explicated by Bounded Generalized Reciprocity theory. Study 3 was an experiment that found exposure to increased scenes of interracial reciprocity in PBC was associated with less negative attitudes toward Black Americans through the mechanism of reduced negative reciprocity expectations. Overall, we found sitcoms are associated with activating racial prejudice. However, the direction of these beliefs is in part determined by if the casts of these shows are predominantly Black or White.