The ISPS Experiments Workshop presents:
Lilla Orr, Ph.D. Student in Political Science, Yale University: “Partisan Animosity in the United States: Social Fragmentation or Policy Conflict?”
Abstract: Social divide between partisans in the United States has been diagnosed as a dangerous ailment. Understanding and addressing the consequences of partisan animosity requires knowledge of its foundations. To what extent is animosity between partisan groups motivated by dislike for partisan out groups per se, policy disagreement, or other social group conflicts? In many circumstances arising in recent history and prior research, blind partisan animosity, non-political group animosity, and policy based animosity are observationally equivalent. Available evidence is compatible with the view that partisan animosity is far more closely tied to one’s identity than one’s preferences for various proposals put forth by parties. It is also compatible with a view of partisan animosity as an extension of policy conflict manifested differently between individuals, some of whom have adopted a personal identity linked to these preferences. Original survey experimental evidence suggests that partisan animosity has a strong foundation in policy disagreement. We show that when a person’s partisanship is one of several characteristics or groups identified with, out-partisans still desire social distance from such a person. But a single policy preference exerts strong independent influence on interpersonal evaluations in ways that other group memberships do not.
Lilla Orr is a doctoral student in Political Science and a master’s student in Statistics and Data Science at Yale. Her research primarily addresses effects of social otherness on political and health behavior. Prior to pursuing graduate studies, she completed a B.S. in Biochemistry and Cell Biology at the University of California, San Diego where she worked in STEM outreach and humanitarian engineering.