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Every individual draws meaning and identity from their ingroups, and political parties can serve in this role. Membership to a political party has been likened to a sports following (Mason, 2015). Threats to ingroups can make individuals more willing to act aggressively on behalf of the group (Struch & Schwartz, 1989). This study investigated connections between these ideas and their impact on individuals’ outlook after an election. Individuals showing increased identification with their party and exposed to a losing election were expected to display the greatest willingness to act aggressively against political opponents. Participants (N=214) completed the IDPG survey to measure level of political identification, then read a description of the upcoming November 2018 election characterized randomly as either a win or a loss for each participant’s party. Participants then answered a series of questions to gauge their willingness to act aggressively towards members of the opposing political party, either in person or online. Contrary to expectations, those in the win condition showed a significantly greater willingness to act aggressively. Potential explanations for unexpected findings are discussed.


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  • Subject
    • Psychological Science

  • Institution
    • Dahlonega

  • Event location
    • Floor

  • Event date
    • 22 March 2019

  • Date submitted

    19 July 2022

  • Additional information
    • Acknowledgements:

      Susann Doyle-Portillo