Year of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Other Degree Name/Area of Focus
Department or School/College
Department of Psychology
Lucian Gideon Conway
Daniel J. Denis, Rachel Severson, Allen Szalda-Petree, Laurie Yung
Non-conscious perception, political ideology formation, temporal orientation
University of Montana
Research in motivation suggests that individuals are highly attuned to perceived risk and danger and tend to form groups (physical and ideological) on the basis of the threats they collectively share with like-minded others. These initial stages of threat detection and evaluation are often found to occur through subtle environmental cues. This study examined the relationship between feelings of uneasiness and political ideology through the framing of temporal cues (e.g., past- vs. future-tense). Participants (n = 181) were recruited through Amazon’s Mechanical Turk (MTurk) and were randomly assigned a short vignette about a relatable life experience (e.g., purchasing a car). Each vignette was written in either the past-tense or the future-tense, and after reading the vignette, participants reported their emotional response to the presented scenario (e.g., “If I were in the scenario, I would feel uneasy.”) using a Likert-type scale. Participants’ levels of ideological conservatism were then measured. Counter to expectations, a negative interaction was found between ideological conservatism and temporal condition on uneasiness: Conservatives experienced more uneasiness when exposed to past-tense scenarios while liberals experienced more uneasiness when exposed to future-tense scenarios. However, partially consistent with expectations, conservatives’ uneasiness was partially mediated by forecasted (but not observed) risk. Implications, limitations, and possible future directions for the research are discussed.
McFarland, James Donald, "EPISTEMOLIGICAL UNCERTAINTY AND POLITICAL IDEOLOGY: EXPLORING THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN TEMPORAL THREATS AND IDEOLOGY" (2022). Graduate Student Theses, Dissertations, & Professional Papers. 11875.
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