The Wished-For Always Wins Until the Winner Was Inevitable All Along: Motivated Reasoning and Belief Bias Regulate Emotion During Elections

Title:
The Wished-For Always Wins Until the Winner Was Inevitable All Along: Motivated Reasoning and Belief Bias Regulate Emotion During Elections
Authors:
Thibodeau, Paul; Peebles, Matthew M.; Grodner, Daniel J.; Durgin, Frank H.
Abstract:
How do biases affect political information processing? A variant of the Wason selection task, which tests for confirmation bias, was used to characterize how the dynamics of the recent U.S. presidential election affected how people reasoned about political information. Participants were asked to evaluate pundit-style conditional claims like The incumbent always wins in a year when unemployment drops either immediately before or immediately after the 2012 presidential election. A three-way interaction between ideology, predicted winner (whether the proposition predicted that Obama or Romney would win), and the time of test indicated complex effects of bias on reasoning. Before the election, there was partial evidence of motivated reasoningliberals performed especially well at looking for falsifying information when the pundit's claim predicted Romney would win. After the election, once the outcome was known, there was evidence of a belief biaspeople sought to falsify claims that were inconsistent with the real-world outcome rather than their ideology. These results suggest that people seek to implicitly regulate emotion when reasoning about political predictions. Before elections, people like to think their preferred candidate will win. After elections, people like to think the winner was inevitable all along.
Citation:
Thibodeau, Paul, Matthew M. Peebles, Daniel J. Grodner, and Frank H. Durgin. 2015. "The Wished-For Always Wins Until the Winner Was Inevitable All Along: Motivated Reasoning and Belief Bias Regulate Emotion During Elections." Political Psychology 36(4): 431-448.
Publisher:
Wiley for the International Society of Political Psychology
DATE ISSUED:
2015-08
Department:
Psychology
Type:
Article
PUBLISHED VERSION:
10.1111/pops.12100
Additional Links:
http://doi.wiley.com/10.1111/pops.12100
PERMANENT LINK:
http://hdl.handle.net/11282/594354

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.contributor.authorThibodeau, Paulen
dc.contributor.authorPeebles, Matthew M.en
dc.contributor.authorGrodner, Daniel J.en
dc.contributor.authorDurgin, Frank H.en
dc.date.accessioned2016-01-19T14:48:25Zen
dc.date.available2016-01-19T14:48:25Zen
dc.date.issued2015-08en
dc.identifier.citationThibodeau, Paul, Matthew M. Peebles, Daniel J. Grodner, and Frank H. Durgin. 2015. "The Wished-For Always Wins Until the Winner Was Inevitable All Along: Motivated Reasoning and Belief Bias Regulate Emotion During Elections." Political Psychology 36(4): 431-448.en
dc.identifier.issn0162-895Xen
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/11282/594354en
dc.description.abstractHow do biases affect political information processing? A variant of the Wason selection task, which tests for confirmation bias, was used to characterize how the dynamics of the recent U.S. presidential election affected how people reasoned about political information. Participants were asked to evaluate pundit-style conditional claims like The incumbent always wins in a year when unemployment drops either immediately before or immediately after the 2012 presidential election. A three-way interaction between ideology, predicted winner (whether the proposition predicted that Obama or Romney would win), and the time of test indicated complex effects of bias on reasoning. Before the election, there was partial evidence of motivated reasoningliberals performed especially well at looking for falsifying information when the pundit's claim predicted Romney would win. After the election, once the outcome was known, there was evidence of a belief biaspeople sought to falsify claims that were inconsistent with the real-world outcome rather than their ideology. These results suggest that people seek to implicitly regulate emotion when reasoning about political predictions. Before elections, people like to think their preferred candidate will win. After elections, people like to think the winner was inevitable all along.en
dc.language.isoen_USen
dc.publisherWiley for the International Society of Political Psychologyen
dc.identifier.doi10.1111/pops.12100en
dc.relation.urlhttp://doi.wiley.com/10.1111/pops.12100en
dc.subject.departmentPsychologyen_US
dc.titleThe Wished-For Always Wins Until the Winner Was Inevitable All Along: Motivated Reasoning and Belief Bias Regulate Emotion During Electionsen_US
dc.typeArticleen
dc.identifier.journalPolitical Psychologyen
dc.subject.keywordMotivated reasoningen_US
dc.subject.keywordBelief biasen_US
dc.subject.keywordPolitical reasoningen_US
dc.subject.keywordWason selection tasken_US
dc.subject.keywordEmotion regulationen_US
dc.identifier.volume36en_US
dc.identifier.issue4en_US
dc.identifier.startpage431en_US
dc.rightsArchived with thanks to Political Psychologyen
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