The role of implicit attitudes in structuring perceived candidate images

David Johann* (Corresponding Author), Kathrin Thomas, Colin Tucker Smith

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This article explores the implicit attitudes toward a particular political party or candidate for the future. We embed our research into two real world contexts: the 2013 Austrian General Election and the 2016 US Presidential Election. The analyzes based on data collected by the Austrian National Election Study (AUTNES) and Project Implicit. We investigate (a) whether we observe differences in the perceived candidate images across people with different implicit attitudes; (b) whether we observe similar patterns for all trait characteristics; and (c) how far positive and negative implicit attitudes structure the perceived candidate images. The results reveal that (a) implicit attitudes towards a particular party; (b) we find similar patterns for all trait characteristics, but it appears (c) valence matters - we observe homogenously positive explicit trait ratings when the value of implicit attitudes is positive, but more diverse patterns for those with negative implicit attitudes when looking at the Austrian Case and Clinton. However, the findings are inconsistent when Trump is concerned. but more diverse patterns for those with negative implicit attitudes when looking at the Austrian case and Clinton. However, the findings are inconsistent when Trump is concerned. but more diverse patterns for those with negative implicit attitudes when looking at the Austrian case and Clinton. However, the findings are inconsistent when Trump is concerned.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)126-154
Number of pages24
JournalPolitische Psychologie/Journal of Political Psychology
Volume6
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 27 Jul 2018

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Keywords

  • SC-IAT
  • implicit attitudes
  • candidate images
  • electoral campaigns
  • TV debates

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