Do concepts creep to the left and the right? Evidence for ideologically-salient concept breadth judgments across the political spectrum

Harper, C. ORCID: 0000-0002-3172-0129, Purser, H. ORCID: 0000-0003-3307-8421 and Baguley, T. ORCID: 0000-0002-0477-2492, 2022. Do concepts creep to the left and the right? Evidence for ideologically-salient concept breadth judgments across the political spectrum. Social Psychological and Personality Science. ISSN 1948-5506 (Forthcoming)

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Abstract

Concept creep explains how established social concepts expand to incorporate new phenomena, with such expansions fundamentally changing conceptual definitions and contributing to a loss of a shared social understanding. However, existing work has focused on concept creep within a small number of categories that are typically more salient for those on the political left. In this work, we examined whether concept creep is a predominantly leftist phenomenon, or whether the same conceptual expansion is present for typically conservative-salient categories, by exploring judgments of concept breadth for a range of social topics. We found evidence for such symmetry when considering concept breadth for categories such as sexual deviance, terrorism, and personal responsibility – with some nuanced exceptions. We discuss our findings in relation to growing political polarization, intergroup relations, and the study of partisan differences using a variety of politically salient stimuli.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Social Psychological and Personality Science
Creators: Harper, C., Purser, H. and Baguley, T.
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Date: 12 May 2022
ISSN: 1948-5506
Identifiers:
NumberType
1545522Other
Rights: The paper has been accepted for publication in Social Psychological and Personality Science. Reuse is restricted to non-commercial and no derivative uses
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Laura Ward
Date Added: 13 May 2022 12:57
Last Modified: 13 May 2022 12:57
URI: http://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/46316

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