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Eqalitarianism: A Source of Liberal Bias / Equalitarianism: A Source of Liberal Bias

Recent scholarship has challenged the long-held assumption in the social sciences that Conservatives were more biased than Liberals, contending that the predominance of Liberals in the social sciences might have caused social scientists to ignore liberal bias. Here, we argue that victims’ groups are one potent source of liberal bias. We contend that many Liberals are cosmic egalitarians, that is, they believe that demographic groups do not differ (genetically) on socially valued traits (e.g., math ability, IQ). This, coupled with a sacred narrative about protecting victims’ groups (e.g., Blacks, Muslims, women), leads to bias against any challenge to cosmic egalitarianism that portrays a perceived privileged group more favorably than a perceived victims’ group (Equalitarianism bias). Eight studies support this theory. Liberalism was associated with perceiving certain groups as victims (Studies 1a-1b). In Studies 2-7, Liberals evaluated the same study as less credible when the results concluded that a privileged group (men and Whites) had a superior quality relative to a victims’ group (women and Blacks) than vice versa. To rule out alternative explanations of Bayesian (or some other normative) reasoning, we used within-subjects designs in Studies 6 and 7. Significant order effects for Liberals suggest that Liberals think that they should not evaluate identical information differently depending on which group is said to have a superior quality, yet do so. In all studies, higher equalitarianism mediated the relationship between more liberal ideology and lower credibility ratings when privileged groups were said to score higher on a socially valuable trait. / A Dissertation submitted to the Department of Psychology in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. / Summer Semester 2018. / June 18, 2018. / egalitarianism, liberal bias, motivated cognition, political psychology / Includes bibliographical references. / Roy F. Baumeister, Professor Directing Dissertation; Kevin Beaver, University Representative; James K. McNulty, Committee Member; Jesse Cougle, Committee Member; Ashby Plant, Committee Member.
ContributorsWinegard, Bo M. (author), Baumeister, Roy F. (professor directing dissertation), Beaver, Kevin M. (university representative), McNulty, James (committee member), Cougle, Jesse R., 1975- (committee member), Plant, Ashby (committee member), Florida State University (degree granting institution), College of Arts and Sciences (degree granting college), Department of Psychology (degree granting departmentdgg)
PublisherFlorida State University
Source SetsFlorida State University
LanguageEnglish, English
Detected LanguageEnglish
TypeText, text, doctoral thesis
Format1 online resource (107 pages), computer, application/pdf

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