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Looking for Safety in all the Right Places: When Threatening Political Reality Strengthens Family Relationship Bonds

Murray, Sandra L and Seery, Mark D and Lamarche, Veronica M and Jung, Han Young and Saltsman, Thomas L and Griffin, Dale W and Dubois, David and Xia, Ji and Ward, Deborah E and McNulty, James (2021) 'Looking for Safety in all the Right Places: When Threatening Political Reality Strengthens Family Relationship Bonds.' Social Psychological and Personality Science. ISSN 1948-5506 (In Press)

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Abstract

Elections and pandemics highlight how much one’s safety depends on fellow community members, a realization that is especially threatening when the collective perceives political realities inconsistent with one’s own. Two longitudinal studies examined how people restored safety to social bonds when everyday experience suggested that fellow community members inhabited inconsistent realities. We operationalized consensus political realities through the negativity of daily, nation-wide social media posts mentioning President Trump (Studies 1 and 2), and the risks of depending on fellow community members through the pending transition to a divided Congress during the 2018 election season (Study 1), and escalating daily U.S. COVID-19 infections (Study 2). On days that revealed people could not count on fellow community members to perceive the same reality of President Trump’s stewardship they perceived, being at greater risk from the judgment and behavior of the collective community motivated people to find greater happiness in their family relationships.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Relationships, Political Orientation, Election, Threat, COVID-19
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Psychology, Department of
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 17 May 2021 12:33
Last Modified: 17 May 2021 13:15
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/30362

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