Scandals Past Coming Back to Haunt you

How Political Ideology Affects us when People Consider Biasing Information Relevant

  • Linnea Velikonja MacEwan University


Naive realism is the idea that people believe they view their world objectively, and without influence from their own biases. However, past research has found that factors from a person's ideological in-group, shapes how they justify and judge their own opinions. People tend to judge actions of their in-group better, than actions from an out-group. To evaluate this idea further, we want to determine whether partisans find political scandals as relevant, or irrelevant when evaluating party leaders. To test this, we will first ask participants to indicate which political parties they endorse, and pre-select self-identified supporters of the Liberal and Conservative Party. They will then read a news article that describes an actual scandal involving the leader of the party. We will be looking for whether people consider the scandal relevant to the leader’s abilities. We predict that when the Conservative leader is implicated in a scandal, supporters of the Conservative Party will not consider this relevant, but supporters of the Liberal Party will. Whereas when the Liberal Party leader is implicated in a scandal, supporters of the Conservative Party will consider the scandal relevant but supporters of the Liberal Party will not. We will also recruit people who support other parties or no party at all to examine baseline responses.

Discipline: Psychology Honours

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Craig Blatz