A Single Exposure to the American Flag Shifts Support Toward Republicanism up to 8 Months Later: U of Chicago Study

Two-year study conducted by Dr. Travis J. Carter at the University of Chicago’s Center for Decision Research.

Liberals Just Hate This

PSYCHOLOGICAL SCIENCE -ABSTRACT OF FINDINGS: A brief exposure to the American flag led to a shift toward Republican beliefs, attitudes, and voting behavior among both Republican and Democratic participants, despite their overwhelming belief that exposure to the flag would not influence their behavior. In Experiment 1, which was conducted online during the 2008 U.S. presidential election, a single exposure to an American flag resulted in a significant increase in participants’ Republican voting intentions, voting behavior, political beliefs, and implicit and explicit attitudes, with some effects lasting 8 months after the exposure to the prime. In Experiment 2, we replicated the findings more than a year into the current Democratic presidential term. These results constitute the first evidence that nonconscious priming effects from exposure to a national flag can bias the citizenry toward one political party and can have considerable durability.

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FLASHBACK TO 2008: Obama makes big point of refusing to wear American flag lapel pin

DISCOVER: As a visitor to the USA, one sometimes gets the feeling that it’s hard to move or look around without seeing a flag. They are seemingly everywhere, an omnipresent reminder of national identity. But the star-spangled banner is more than a symbol; it can also influence minds in unexpected ways. Travis Carter from the University of Chicago has found that when people think about voting decisions, the mere sight of the American flag can subtly shift their political views… towards Republicanism.  It’s an effect that holds in both Democrats and Republicans, it affects actual votes, and it lasts for at least 8 months.

In the run-up to the 2008 US presidential election, Carter recruited a group of around 200 volunteers and asked them about their political views. A month or so later, he split them into two groups that were comparable in terms of their political beliefs, voting intentions and other variables. Both groups rated how likely they were to vote for either the Democrat Barack Obama or the Republican John McCain on an online questionnaire. The questionnaires were identical except for one small detail – in the top left corner of the screen, one group saw a small American flag and the other saw nothing.

That tiny difference was enough to swing their voting preferences. Carter found that the volunteers who saw the tiny flag became more likely to vote for McCain than Obama (relative to their answers at the start of the experiment). They claimed to feel more positive towards the Republicans and even when Carter tested their unconscious atittudes, a small Republican bias still came through.

After the election, Carter contacted the volunteers again and asked them who they actually voted for. He found that those who saw the flag were less likely to have voted for Obama than those who didn’t (73% versus 84%). They were also more likely to think that the media were unduly harsh in their treatment of McCain. Remember that there were no differences in the political leanings of the two groups before one of them saw the flag-bearing questionnaire.

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BEN’S ANALYSIS: So what does this mean?

It means we should all plant American flags squarely in our front yards, have American flag window decals, bumper stickers and American flag car magnets on our cars. Start wearing an American flag lapel pin, American flag tee-shirts, American flag hats and scarves, American flag clothing everywhere you go.

But, this study says much more about liberals and Democrats than it says about Republicans.

This study helps explain why liberals hate July 4th so much — a celebration of America’s birthday. Liberals just don’t like America very much and most people (even Democrats), at least subconsciously, know this . . . which is why they’re attitudes shift away from voting Democrat when they see the American flag staring them in the face.

It explains why liberals are trying so hard to ban the Pledge of Allegiance from the public schools. They just hate all this patriotism.

Now they’re going to hate the flag even more because of this study — which shows that just seeing the flag moves people (even Democrats) to thinking more like Republicans and even vote Republican.

So expect to see an even more massive, systematic, and concerted effort by liberals to ban the American flag from the schools, from public places, from sporting events, from polling booths. The American flag is going to become just like the cross and other Christian religious displays to the Left. In a few years, you’ll be hard pressed to find and American flag in any public place. In addition to banning religious expression and symbols from public places, the ACLU will now expand its mission to ban patriotic expression and symbols from public places . . . on the premise that the American flag is offensive to liberals.

Read also “Why Liberals Hate July 4th” >>>

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