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Leavers and Remainers After Brexit: More United Than Divided After All?

Hanel, Paul and Wolf, Lukas J (2020) 'Leavers and Remainers After Brexit: More United Than Divided After All?' British Journal of Social Psychology, 59 (2). pp. 470-493. ISSN 0144-6665

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Since the British “Brexit referendum” in 2016, tensions between ‘leave’ and ‘remain’ voters have been growing. Using a novel analytical approach based on the full distribution of responses rather than their arithmetic means, Study 1 (N=1,506) showed on average 90% of overlap among Leavers and Remainers across a range of important variables. Even on the variables that are commonly used to illustrate how Leavers and Remainers differ (e.g., prejudice against immigrants), the amount of overlap was larger than 50%. In Study 2 (N=206), we demonstrate the importance of focusing on similarities between groups: Presenting the full distribution of responses from Leavers and Remainers rather than their mean differences caused more accurate perceptions of the actual differences and similarities between both groups and higher perceived intergroup harmony. We conclude that similarities between Leavers and Remainers are substantial and that our proposed approach may help to de-escalate tensions between these and other groups.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Brexit; Human values; Euroscepticism; National identity; Prejudice; Similarities
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health
Faculty of Science and Health > Psychology, Department of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 11 Dec 2019 10:14
Last Modified: 18 Aug 2022 10:27

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