Social norms misperception among voters in the 2020 US presidential election

Hoerst, Carina and Drury, John (2021) Social norms misperception among voters in the 2020 US presidential election. Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy. ISSN 1529-7489

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We aim to explain the dynamics enabling spikes in hate crimes by examining the underlying social-psychological processes behind it. We see these as captured in empowerment processes among racists who see themselves as “victims” and their position strengthened by majority support from the public for their actions. Building on previous research, we investigated the role social norm misperception (false consensus and pluralistic ignorance), following elections plays as a possible, generally occurring mechanism, with particular focus on Republican Party supporters. In a two-wave panel study, we surveyed Democrat and Republican supporters on social norms misperception, as well as collective empowerment, and xenophobic behavioral intentions. While we could replicate and strengthen our arguments and establish robust group-dependent effects for social norms misperception and illustrate that an unexpected outcome of the election led to disempowerment among Republicans, we found null effects for changes in social norms misperception, and behavioral intentions. Our study contributes to understanding social norms misperception as associated with group membership. Deriving from that, the study results indicate that the perception of a majority agreeing with one's approval is potentially less influenced by external factors, in contrast to feelings of joy and group efficacy—collective empowerment. Practical implications of group differences regarding post-election collective actions are discussed.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
SWORD Depositor: Mx Elements Account
Depositing User: Mx Elements Account
Date Deposited: 03 Aug 2021 07:28
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2022 01:00

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