Political mindset: Effects of schema priming on liberal-conservative political positions


Journal Article

Although stable factors play an important role in determining people's political positions, most Americans also hold a mix of values and beliefs some congruent with political conservatism and some congruent with political liberalism. To investigate this more dynamic component of political thinking, two studies manipulated the relative salience of schemas about personal merit vs. good fortune as explanations for success in life. In Study 1, students at a highly selective university were asked to explain their academic success focusing either on the role of hard work, self-discipline and wise decision-making (Personal Merit condition) or that of chance, opportunity, and help from others (Good Fortune condition). In Study 2, personal merit vs. good fortune was primed through prior exposure to relevant questionnaire items. In both studies, participants in the Good Fortune condition subsequently indicated more support for liberal policies than did those in the Personal Merit condition. © 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Bryan, CJ; Dweck, CS; Ross, L; Kay, AC; Mislavsky, NO

Published Date

  • July 1, 2009

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 45 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 890 - 895

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1096-0465

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0022-1031

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.jesp.2009.04.007

Citation Source

  • Scopus