SciBeh-Topic-Visualization

political, attitude, partisan, democracy, ideology

Topic 35

political attitude partisan democracy ideology polarization frame support authoritarian vs. mitigation conservative disagreement tale financial

The Authoritarian Dynamic During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Effects on Nationalism and Anti-Immigrant Sentiment

Research has demonstrated that situational factors such as perceived threats to the social order activate latent authoritarianism. The deadly COVID-19 pandemic presents a rare opportunity to test whether existential threat stemming from an indiscriminate virus moderates the relationship between authoritarianism and political attitudes toward the nation and outgroups. Using data from a large, nationally representative sample of adults in the UK (N = 2,025) collected during the first week of strict lockdown measures (23-28 March 2020), we find that the associations between right-wing authoritarianism and 1) nationalism and 2) anti-immigrant attitudes are conditional on levels of perceived threat. As anxiety about the COVID-19 pandemic increases, so too does the effect of right-wing authoritarianism on those political outcomes. Thus, it appears that grave threats to humanity from the COVID-19 pandemic activate authoritarians in society, which in turn, shifts opinion toward nationalistic and anti-immigrant sentiments.
covid-19
pandemic
uk
data
lockdown
politics
threat
study
anxiety
immigration
nationalism
authoritarianism
moral, belief, conspiracy, personality, trait
political, attitude, partisan, democracy, ideology
Does Partisanship Shape Investor Beliefs? Evidence from the COVID-19 Pandemic

We use party-identifying language – like “Liberal Media” and “MAGA”– to identify Republican users on the investor social platform StockTwits. Using a difference-in-difference design, we find that the beliefs of partisan Republicans about equities remain relatively unfazed during the COVID-19 pandemic, while other users become considerably more pessimistic. In cross-sectional tests, we find Republicans become relatively more optimistic about stocks that suffered the most from COVID-19, but more pessimistic about Chinese stocks. Finally, stocks with the greatest partisan disagreement on StockTwits have significantly more trading in the broader market, which explains 20% of the increase in stock turnover during the pandemic.
covid-19
usa
disagreement
republican
partisanship
market
equity
pessimism
difference-in-difference
moral, belief, conspiracy, personality, trait
political, attitude, partisan, democracy, ideology
The Political Impact of Affective Polarization: How Partisan Animus Shapes COVID-19 Attitudes

Affective polarization is a defining feature of 21st century American politics—partisans harbor considerable dislike and distrust of those from the other party. Does this animus have consequences for citizens’ opinions? Such effects would highlight not only the consequences of polarization, but also shed new light onto how citizens form preferences more generally. Normally, this question is intractable, but the outbreak of the novel coronavirus allows us to answer it. We find that affective polarization powerfully shapes citizens’ attitudes about the pandemic, as well as the actions they have taken in response to it. However, these effects are conditional on the local severity of the outbreak, as the effects decline in areas with high caseloads—threat vitiates partisan reasoning. Our results clarify that closing the divide on important issues requires not just policy discourse but also attempts to reduce inter-partisan hostility.
covid-19
attitudes
distrust
behaviour
moral, belief, conspiracy, personality, trait
political, attitude, partisan, democracy, ideology
Pandemics meet democracy. Experimental evidence from the COVID-19 crisis in Spain

The COVID-19 outbreak poses an unprecedented challenge for contemporary democracies. Despite the global scale of the problem, the response has been mainly national, and global coordination has been so far extremely weak. All over the world governments are making use of exceptional powers to enforce lockdowns, often sacrificing civil liberties and profoundly altering the pre-existing power balance, which nurtures fears of an authoritarian turn. Relief packages to mitigate the economic consequences of the lockdowns are being discussed, and there is little doubt that the forthcoming recession will have important distributive consequences. In this paper we study citizens' responses to these democratic dilemmas. We present results from a set of survey experiments run in Spain from March 20 to March 28, together with longitudinal evidence from a panel survey fielded right before and after the virus outbreak. Our findings reveal a strong preference for a national as opposed to a European/international response. The national bias is much stronger for the COVID-19 crisis than for other global problems, such as climate change or international terrorism. We also find widespread demand for strong leadership, willingness to give up individual freedom, and a sharp increase in support for technocratic governance. As such, we document the initial switch in mass public preferences towards technocratic and authoritarian government caused by the pandemic. We discuss to what extent this crisis may contribute to a shift towards a new, self-enforcing political equilibrium.
covid-19
empirical evidence
spain
politics
bias
public health response
government response
democracy
demand
freedom
nationalism
leadership
mobility, crime, gdp, employment, restriction
political, attitude, partisan, democracy, ideology
The Rise of COVID-19 is Associated with Support for World Leaders

COVID-19 has emerged as one of the deadliest and most disruptive global pandemics in recent human history. Drawing from political science and psychological theory, we examine the effects of daily confirmed cases in a country on citizens’ support for the nation’s leader through first 120 days of 2020. Using two unique datasets which comprises daily
covid-19
support
political science
minority, racial, violence, woman, capital
political, attitude, partisan, democracy, ideology
Is COVID-19 a Threat to Liberal Democracy?

A defining feature of liberal democracy is the respect for and protection of core civil liberties. Yet, major crises, such as wars, natural disasters and pandemics, can provide a pretext to undermine liberal democratic norms. This raises questions of whether citizens are willing to support policies that violate their civil liberties in a crisis and whether some individuals are more likely to a support such encroachments. We conducted a series well-powered preregistered conjoint and vignette experiments in the US and UK during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. We find that people’s attitudes are relatively malleable and that endorsements by an in-group party and trusted experts can shift support for measures that erode civil liberties. However, the evidence also reveals resistance to certain illiberal policy measures, including banning protests and indefinitely postponing elections. This indicates the presence of liberal democratic norms, even when partisan elites promote illiberal policies.
covid-19
policy
attitude
public support
social norms
moral, belief, conspiracy, personality, trait
political, attitude, partisan, democracy, ideology
Interdependence and the cost of uncoordinated responses to COVID-19

Social distancing is the core policy response to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). But, as federal, state and local governments begin opening businesses and relaxing shelter-in-place orders worldwide, we lack quantitative evidence on how policies in one region affect mobility and social distancing in other regions and the consequences of uncoordinated regional policies adopted in the presence of such spillovers. To investigate this concern, we combined daily, county-level data on shelter-in-place policies with movement data from over 27 million mobile devices, social network connections among over 220 million Facebook users, daily temperature and precipitation data from 62,000 weather stations, and county-level census data on population demographics to estimate the geographic and social network spillovers created by regional policies across the United States. Our analysis shows that the contact patterns of people in a given region are significantly influenced by the policies and behaviors of people in other, sometimes distant, regions. When just one-third of a state’s social and geographic peer states adopt shelter-in-place policies, it creates a reduction in mobility equal to the state’s own policy decisions. These spillovers are mediated by peer travel and distancing behaviors in those states. A simple analytical model calibrated with our empirical estimates demonstrated that the “loss from anarchy” in uncoordinated state policies is increasing in the number of noncooperating states and the size of social and geographic spillovers. These results suggest a substantial cost of uncoordinated government responses to COVID-19 when people, ideas, and media move across borders.
covid-19
big data
usa
social distancing
public health
policy
mobility
loosening restrictions
distance
social network
cooperation
mobility, crime, gdp, employment, restriction
political, attitude, partisan, democracy, ideology
The effect of COVID-19 lockdowns on political support: Some good news for democracy? (Published in European Journal of Political Research)

Major crises can act as critical junctures or reinforce the political status quo, depending on how citizens view the performance of central institutions. We use an interrupted time series to study the political effect of the enforcement of a strict confinement policy in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically, we take advantage of a unique representative web-based survey that was fielded in March and April 2020 in Western Europe to compare the political support of those who took the survey right before and right after the start of the lockdown in their country. We find that lockdowns have increased vote intentions for the party of the Prime Minister/President, trust in government, and satisfaction with democracy. Furthermore, we find that, while rallying individuals around current leaders and institutions, they have had no effect on traditional left-right attitudes.
covid-19
lockdown
public opinion
democracy
online survey
government trust
political support
news, misinformation, internet, medium, fake
political, attitude, partisan, democracy, ideology
Exposure to the Covid-19 pandemic and generosity in southern Spain

The Covid-19 pandemic is having dramatic consequences across the world and has generated a public debate about how exposure to a pandemic environment affects social behavior: along with signs of increased solidarity such as people hand-making masks for others, we also observe selfish and antisocial behaviors such as harnessing of essential goods. This is a key question because prosocial behaviors are necessary to cope successfully with the pandemic, but the existing evidence provides no clear prediction regarding how prosociality adapts during such a negative shock. Using data from an online experiment with ~1k participants from southern Spain, we study how social behavior evolved in a six-day period in which Covid-19-associated deaths in Spain increased from 900 to above 3000. In our experiment, participants could earn lottery tickets for a €100-prize and decided whether to donate a fraction to a charity upon winning. We find that actual donations decreased in the period under study, particularly among older people—those who face higher mortality rates. Gender, another determinant of Covid-19-associated mortality, does not predict the decrease. In addition, while self-reported social concerns did not change in the same period, expectations about others’ donations decreased along with actual donations. The data suggest that expectations partially mediate the effect of exposure on behavioral change, but they cannot account for the effect of age. Since age is at the center of public debate about mortality while gender receives considerably less attention, our results point to the potential role of public information in behavioral adaptation.
covid-19
public health
spain
self-report
face mask
mortality
gender
age
prosocial behavior
adaptation
information
study
behavioral change
solidarity
older people
social psychology
expectation
intention, behavior, message, guideline, preventive
political, attitude, partisan, democracy, ideology
Beneficiaries' Attitudes toward Allies in Social Movements

Allyship is a growing phenomenon in many organizational contexts, and the involvement of allies in identity-based social movements (e.g., men in the feminist movement) is ubiquitous. However, the impression that these allies have on their intended beneficiaries is unclear. Over the course of three studies, we explore how different types of allyship behaviors are perceived by their beneficiaries. We find converging evidence that beneficiaries make critical judgments of their allies when their allies engage in actions that demonstrate lower levels of trustworthiness (e.g., selflessness, loyalty) and higher levels of influence (e.g., centrality, power) in the movement. This evidence was observed in a survey of 117 social movement activists (Study 1), and in two experiments sampling 752 liberal women and nonbinary individuals (Study 2), and 305 feminist social activists (Study 3). Taken together, our research documents the causal effects that different allyship behaviors have on beneficiaries’ attitudes toward allies (Studies 2 & 3) while recruiting samples of currently engaged movement activists to solicit their unique perspectives (Studies 1 & 3). We thereby identify the specific ways of being an ally that elicit the most positive impressions from their intended beneficiaries, which can reinforce intergroup coalitions, prosociality, and ultimately, downstream societal change.
behavioral science
attitude
perception
influence
social science
perspective
trustworthiness
intention, behavior, message, guideline, preventive
political, attitude, partisan, democracy, ideology