Northwestern Events Calendar

Mar
4
2022

American Politics Workshop: Prof. Chadly Stern: Toward an understanding of when psychological differences do (and do not) emerge across the political spectrum

When: Friday, March 4, 2022
12:00 PM - 2:00 PM Central

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Stephen Monteiro   (847) 491-7451

Group: Department of Political Science

Category: Academic, Lectures & Meetings, Global & Civic Engagement

Description:

Please join the American Politics Workshop as they host Chadly Stern, Assistant Professor of Psychology at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, presenting "Toward an understanding of when psychological differences do (and do not) emerge across the political spectrum". 

The session will take place in Scott 212 with an option for virtual attendance. 

Toward an understanding of when psychological differences do (and do not) emerge across the political spectrum

ABSTRACT: In recent years there has been considerable debate about the degree to which political liberals (those on the left) and conservatives (those on the right) possess distinct or similar psychological profiles. Although some researchers have observed nearly identical outcomes among liberals and conservatives on important psychological processes (e.g., motivated reasoning, selective exposure) these findings have primarily emerged in the context of highly charged political topics (e.g., gun control, abortion, federal elections). Less commonly addressed, however, are whether differences or similarities emerge in ideologically neutral contexts that are devoid of political content. Here, I discuss evidence that speaks to this understudied question. Specifically, I outline recent research examining whether differences in meta-cognitive confidence emerge between liberals and conservatives on non-political tasks (e.g., estimating numbers of dots), including tasks that have immediate social relevance (e.g., social categorization). I then provide a discussion of how seemingly disparate findings about psychological similarities and differences across the political spectrum can be theoretically reconciled. 

Dr. Chadly Stern's research broadly examines how belief systems and motivations guide the way that people perceive and interact with the world. One central line of work concerns how political belief systems (e.g., whether a person is liberal or conservative) shape the way in which people evaluate and categorize others based on group membership (e.g., race, sex, and sexual orientation). Another line of work examines consensus in political groups, and the implications of both perceived and actual attitude consensus for individual behavior (e.g., voting) and large-scale societal outcomes (e.g., levels of societal stability).
 

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