Reporting an Independent political identity does not guarantee the absence of partisanship. Independents demonstrated considerable variability in relative identification with Republicans versus Democrats as measured by an Implicit Association Test…To test whether this variation predicted political judgment, participants read a newspaper article describing two competing welfare or special education policies. The authors manipulated which policy was proposed by which party…Regardless of the policy details, these implicit partisans preferred the policy proposed by “their” party, and this effect occurred more strongly for implicit than explicit plan preference. The authors suggest that implicitly partisan Independents may consciously override some partisan influence when making explicit political judgments, and Independents may identify as such to appear objective even when they are not.
January 8, 2014 at 2:00 PM EST