Friday, October 7, 2022

Neoliberals are most receptive to political methods, research finds

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Do we fall for political methods—when politicians inform us issues that appear fully meaningless? Social psychologists of the University of Amsterdam examined how individuals reply to obscure and meaningless statements like “To politically lead the people means to always fight for them” and “For better and stronger Gonfel!” (a fictitious nation). They discover that right-wing individuals, and particularly neoliberals, are extra receptive to such statements. The research is now revealed within the Journal of Social and Political Psychology.

The digital age we reside in gave rise to misinformation, lies, fact-checks, info overloads, and political shenanigans. These are statements which might be very summary and meaningless, however are alleged to mobilize voters. “That is, politicians tell things that seem to mean nothing and everything at the same time,” clarify the authors. “For example, when politicians state to ‘believe in people or country’, or ‘promise to fight for a better future’. Such very vague statements we often see during political elections and political campaigns.”

But what do such statements truly imply? Which impact can they’ve? Are some individuals extra inclined to it than others? This very obscure communication and prevalent social phenomenon was not studied earlier than.

Testing how receptive an individual might be to political deception

The researchers studied the endorsement of obscure political statements, slogans, and applications. After a scientific evaluation of literature on this and related phenomena, they developed three assessments to estimate how receptive an individual might be to political deception, and the way this associated to their political ideology and assist for neoliberalism, populism, and voting habits. These assessments have been performed within the Netherlands, Serbia and the US.

One check was made up of ten sentences which contributors rated on how persuasive they have been. One of the sentences acknowledged: “To politically lead the people means to always fight for them.” “Though the sentence looks as if it conveys something, it is not clear what it means to fight for people,” state the authors. “It is vague, abstract, and essentially meaningless.”

The second check was made up of 5 slogans about elections within the fictitious nation of Gonfel: “For better and stronger Gonfel!” But what does it imply for a rustic to be higher and stronger? The third check contained three lengthy political applications that didn’t have any wise which means, additionally associated to the fictional nation of Gonfel.

Right-wing individuals (particularly neoliberals) are extra receptive to false statements

The authors conclude that their research labored properly to measure political deception. “Although the term could be controversial, our research suggests that the concept … exists and can be measured.”

Through a meta-analysis of the three assessments, they discover that each one political deception measures positively correlated with assist for the free market, whereas just some positively correlated with social and financial conservatism, and populism. “In the U.S., the Netherlands, and all countries combined, increased receptivity … was associated with a higher probability to vote for right-wing candidates/parties. Especially neoliberals are more receptive to these statements.”

The authors didn’t examine and have no idea which political events use political trickery extra. “We do assume though, that every party or candidate use such expressions, because of the structural requirements of politics and political communication.”


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More info:
Vukašin Gligorić et al, Political bullshit receptivity and its correlates: A cross-country validation of the idea, Journal of Social and Political Psychology (2022). DOI: 10.5964/jspp.6565

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University of Amsterdam


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Neoliberals are most receptive to political methods, research finds (2022, September 23)
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