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Going along versus getting it right: The role of self-integrity in political conformity

Binning, KR and Brick, C and Cohen, GL and Sherman, DK (2015) Going along versus getting it right: The role of self-integrity in political conformity. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 56. 73 - 88. ISSN 0022-1031

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Abstract

© 2014 Elsevier Inc. People often conform to the opinions of ingroup members, even when available evidence suggests that the group is misinformed. Following insights from the social identity approach and self-affirmation theory, it was hypothesized that people conform to salient opinions in an effort to maintain global self-integrity. In a series of experiments examining Americans' approval of President Obama and his policies, approval was consistently swayed by normative information (national polling data) but not by evidentiary information (indicators of national economic health), except under theory-predicted conditions. When participants had satisfied their sense of self-integrity with a self-affirmation exercise (Democrats in Study 1, Republicans in Study 2), or when they had low levels of American identification and thus were less concerned with national norms (Democrats and Republicans in Study 3), they showed the opposite pattern and were swayed by evidence in spite of contradicting normative information. The extent to which people are influenced by norms versus evidence in political judgment is shaped by social identity, one aspect of self-integrity. The results highlight a social psychological means to attenuate and potentially reverse conformity in the face of contradicting evidence, a finding with both practical and theoretical implications.


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Details

Item Type: Article
Status: Published
Creators/Authors:
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Binning, KRkbinning@pitt.eduKBINNING0000-0002-5396-4183
Brick, C
Cohen, GL
Sherman, DK
Centers: University Centers > Learning Research and Development Center (LRDC)
Date: 1 January 2015
Date Type: Publication
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Experimental Social Psychology
Volume: 56
Page Range: 73 - 88
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.1016/j.jesp.2014.08.008
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Psychology
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 0022-1031
Date Deposited: 03 Sep 2014 16:24
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2019 15:55
URI: http://d-scholarship.pitt.edu/id/eprint/22857

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