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The politics of time: Conservatives differentially reference the past and liberals differentially reference the future

Robinson, Michael D and Cassidy, Deirdre M and Boyd, Ryan L and Fetterman, Adam K (2015) 'The politics of time: Conservatives differentially reference the past and liberals differentially reference the future.' Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 45 (7). pp. 391-399. ISSN 0021-9029

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Abstract

Conservatives are thought to favor certainty and value tradition (suggesting a focus on the past), whereas liberals are thought to favor change (suggesting a focus on the future), even when it is associated with some degree of uncertainty. On this basis, two studies contrasted references to the past versus the future in language usage. Study 1 analyzed 600 texts from conservative and liberal websites. After adjusting for normative differences, a cross-over interaction was obtained: Conservative posts referenced the past to a greater extent than the future and liberal posts referenced the future more than the past. A conceptually parallel cross-over interaction was obtained in Study 2, which analyzed 145 State of the Union addresses. The temporal orientation of conservatives and liberals, then, appears qualitatively different.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Psychology, Department of
Depositing User: Jim Jamieson
Date Deposited: 22 Sep 2015 13:33
Last Modified: 22 Sep 2015 13:33
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/14965

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