Ideological responses to the breaking of COVID-19 social distancing recommendations

Harper, C. ORCID: 0000-0002-3172-0129 and Rhodes, D. ORCID: 0000-0001-5859-4567, 2022. Ideological responses to the breaking of COVID-19 social distancing recommendations. Group Processes and Intergroup Relations. ISSN 1368-4302

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COVID-19 has plagued the globe since January 2020, infecting millions and claiming the lives of several hundreds of thousands (at the time of writing). Despite this, many individuals have ignored public health guidance and continued to socialize in groups. Emergent work has highlighted the potential role that ideology plays in such behavior, and judgements of it. In response to this contemporary cultural phenomenon, we tested whether judgements of those allegedly flouting the guidance on social distancing were influenced by an interaction between the ideologies of those providing judgements, and those allegedly breaking the rules. Our data suggest that judgements of those flouting social distancing guidance are influenced by ideology in a symmetrical way. That is, both liberals and conservatives condemn outgroup flouting more than ingroup flouting. We discuss this finding in the context of theoretical work into ideological symmetries, and the implications of growing ideological polarization in contemporary Western democracies.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Group Processes and Intergroup Relations
Creators: Harper, C. and Rhodes, D.
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Date: 26 February 2022
ISSN: 1368-4302
Rights: Accepted for publication in Group Processes and Intergroup Relations. Reuse is restricted to non-commercial and no derivative uses
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Laura Ward
Date Added: 06 Jan 2022 10:04
Last Modified: 13 Jul 2022 14:01

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