Japanese conservative messages propagate to moderate users better than their liberal counterparts on Twitter.
ABSTRACT: To examine conservative-liberal differences in the extent to which partisan tweets reach less partisan moderate users in a nonwestern context, we analyzed a network of retweets about former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The analyses consistently demonstrated that partisan tweets originating from the conservative cluster reach a wider range of moderate users than those from the liberal cluster. Network analyses revealed that while the conservative and the liberal clusters' internal structures were similar, the conservative cluster reciprocated the follows from moderate accounts at a higher rate than the liberal cluster. In addition, moderate accounts reciprocated the conservative cluster's following at a higher rate than they did for the liberal cluster. The analysis of tweet content showed no difference in the frequency of hashtag use between conservatives and liberals, but there were differences in the use of emotion words and linguistic expressions. In particular, emotion words related to the propagation of messages, such as those expressing "dislike", were used more frequently by conservatives, while the use of adjectives by conservatives was closer to that of moderate users, indicating that conservative tweets are more palatable for moderate users than liberal tweets.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>The novel coronavirus pandemic continues to ravage communities across the United States. Opinion surveys identified the importance of political ideology in shaping perceptions of the pandemic and compliance with preventive measures.<h4>Objective</h4>The aim of this study was to measure political partisanship and antiscience attitudes in the discussions about the pandemic on social media, as well as their geographic and temporal distributions.<h4>Methods</h4>We analyzed a large set of tweets from Twitter related to the pandemic, collected between January and May 2020, and developed methods to classify the ideological alignment of users along the moderacy (hardline vs moderate), political (liberal vs conservative), and science (antiscience vs proscience) dimensions.<h4>Results</h4>We found a significant correlation in polarized views along the science and political dimensions. Moreover, politically moderate users were more aligned with proscience views, while hardline users were more aligned with antiscience views. Contrary to expectations, we did not find that polarization grew over time; instead, we saw increasing activity by moderate proscience users. We also show that antiscience conservatives in the United States tended to tweet from the southern and northwestern states, while antiscience moderates tended to tweet from the western states. The proportion of antiscience conservatives was found to correlate with COVID-19 cases.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Our findings shed light on the multidimensional nature of polarization and the feasibility of tracking polarized opinions about the pandemic across time and space through social media data.
Project description:Social liberals tend to be less pathogen-avoidant than social conservatives, a pattern consistent with a model wherein ideological differences stem from differences in threat reactivity. Here we investigate if and how individual responses to a shared threat reflect those patterns of ideological difference. In seeming contradiction to the general association between social conservatism and pathogen avoidance, the more socially conservative political party in the United States has more consistently downplayed the dangers of COVID-19 during the ongoing pandemic. This puzzle offers an opportunity to examine the contributions of multiple factors to disease avoidance. We investigated the relationship between social conservatism and COVID-19 precautionary behavior in light of the partisan landscape of the United States. We explored whether consumption of, and attitudes toward, different sources of information, as well as differential evaluation of various threats caused by the pandemic-such as direct health costs versus indirect harms to the economy and individual liberties-shape partisan differences in responses to the pandemic in ways that overwhelm the contributions of social conservatism. In two pre-registered studies, socially conservative attitudes correlate with self-reported COVID-19 prophylactic behaviors, but only among Democrats. Reflecting larger societal divisions, among Republicans and Independents, the absence of a positive relationship between social conservatism and COVID-19 precautions appears driven by lower trust in scientists, lower trust in liberal and moderate sources, lesser consumption of liberal news media, and greater economic conservatism.
Project description:Social media platforms attempting to curb abuse and misinformation have been accused of political bias. We deploy neutral social bots who start following different news sources on Twitter, and track them to probe distinct biases emerging from platform mechanisms versus user interactions. We find no strong or consistent evidence of political bias in the news feed. Despite this, the news and information to which U.S. Twitter users are exposed depend strongly on the political leaning of their early connections. The interactions of conservative accounts are skewed toward the right, whereas liberal accounts are exposed to moderate content shifting their experience toward the political center. Partisan accounts, especially conservative ones, tend to receive more followers and follow more automated accounts. Conservative accounts also find themselves in denser communities and are exposed to more low-credibility content.
Project description:Given research revealing conservatives are more sensitive to disease threat, it is curious that U.S. conservatives were less concerned than liberals with the COVID-19 pandemic. Across four studies that spanned almost ten months throughout the pandemic, we evaluated three potential reasons why conservatives were less concerned: (1) Motivated Political reasons (conservatives held COVID-specific political beliefs that motivated them to reduce concern), (2) Experiential reasons (conservatives were less directly affected by the outbreak than liberals), and (3) Conservative Messaging reasons (differential exposure to/trust in partisan conservative messaging). All four studies consistently showed evidence that political (and not experiential or partisan messaging) reasons more strongly mediated conservatives' lack of concern for COVID-19. Additional analyses further suggested that while they did not serve as strong mediators, experiential factors provided a boundary condition for the conservatism➔perceived threat relationship. These data on over 3000 participants are consistent with a new model of the ideology-disease outbreak interface that can be applied to both the ongoing pandemic and future disease outbreaks.
Project description:This study aimed to identify the factors influencing South Korean voters' attitudes towards increasing public expenditure on health and to identify whether the issue of healthcare expenditure influenced candidate choice in the 2012 Korean presidential election. The study used the data from a survey conducted by the Institute of Korean Politics at Seoul National University immediately following the 2012 presidential election. The survey was completed by a nationwide sample of 1,200 people aged 19 or over using a face-to-face interview method and proportional quota sampling based on sex, age, and region. About 44.3% of respondents had a positive attitude toward increasing public health expenditure. There was no significant difference by the candidate they supported (conservative Park Geun-hye or liberal Moon Jae-in). In particular, even 44.9% of conservative supporters agreed with more spending. Politically neutral respondents (OR = 1.76, 90% CI 1.22-2.54) and strong conservative party supporters (OR = 1.53, 90% CI 1.05-2.25) were more likely to support public health expenditure increase compared to strong liberal party supporters. Also, respondents who believed that the economic gap in the country was widening were 1.91 times more likely to support an increase in public health expenditures. However, the issue of health expenditure had no influence on voters' choice of presidential candidates, and in particular no negative effect of choice of the ruling (conservative) party's candidate. Our results should be interpreted with care; one possible reason for this lack of effect might be that constituents voted along partisan lines regardless of their attitude to the welfare issue; another possible explanation might be the success of the "left click strategy" of the conservative party. That is, the conservatives did not reject economic democratization or social welfare expansion. Further research should be done to explain why attitudes to health spending did not directly affect choice of candidate.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Discrimination in the health care system contributes to worse health outcomes among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) patients. OBJECTIVE:The aim of this study is to examine disparities in patient experience among LGBTQ persons using social media data. METHODS:We collected patient experience data from Twitter from February 2013 to February 2017 in the United States. We compared the sentiment of patient experience tweets between Twitter users who self-identified as LGBTQ and non-LGBTQ. The effect of state-level partisan identity on patient experience sentiment and differences between LGBTQ users and non-LGBTQ users were analyzed. RESULTS:We observed lower (more negative) patient experience sentiment among 13,689 LGBTQ users compared to 1,362,395 non-LGBTQ users. Increasing state-level liberal political identification was associated with higher patient experience sentiment among all users but had stronger effects for LGBTQ users. CONCLUSIONS:Our findings highlight that social media data can yield insights about patient experience for LGBTQ persons and suggest that a state-level sociopolitical environment influences patient experience for this group. Efforts are needed to reduce disparities in patient care for LGBTQ persons while taking into context the effect of the political climate on these inequities.
Project description:People tend to interpret political information in a manner that confirms their prior beliefs, a cognitive bias that contributes to rising political polarization. In this study, we combined functional magnetic resonance imaging with semantic content analyses to investigate the neural mechanisms that underlie the biased processing of real-world political content. We scanned American participants with conservative-leaning or liberal-leaning immigration attitudes while they watched news clips, campaign ads, and public speeches related to immigration policy. We searched for evidence of "neural polarization": activity in the brain that diverges between people who hold liberal versus conservative political attitudes. Neural polarization was observed in the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex (DMPFC), a brain region associated with the interpretation of narrative content. Neural polarization in the DMPFC intensified during moments in the videos that included risk-related and moral-emotional language, highlighting content features most likely to drive divergent interpretations between conservatives and liberals. Finally, participants whose DMPFC activity closely matched that of the average conservative or the average liberal participant were more likely to change their attitudes in the direction of that group's position. Our work introduces a multimethod approach to study the neural basis of political cognition in naturalistic settings. Using this approach, we characterize how political attitudes biased information processing in the brain, the language most likely to drive polarized neural responses, and the consequences of biased processing for attitude change. Together, these results shed light on the psychological and neural underpinnings of how identical information is interpreted differently by conservatives and liberals.
Project description:The family and denominational factors influencing intergenerational religious transmission have been examined in a substantial body of work. Despite research identifying religious ideology as a salient aspect of American religion, however, its role in religious transmission remains unexplored. In this study, I use the National Study of Youth and Religion to test whether children's worship attendance and centrality of faith in young adulthood differ based on whether their parents identify as religiously liberal, moderate, conservative, or none of these. I further test whether the strength of the relationship between parent and child religiosity differs between ideological groups. The primary finding is that religious transmission is stronger among children of religious conservatives than for any other group, while the other groups do not differ significantly from one another. These differences in transmission are largely explained by religious conservative parenting approaches, congregational involvement, and most importantly, more intensive religious socialization.
Project description:Ubiquitous facial recognition technology can expose individuals' political orientation, as faces of liberals and conservatives consistently differ. A facial recognition algorithm was applied to naturalistic images of 1,085,795 individuals to predict their political orientation by comparing their similarity to faces of liberal and conservative others. Political orientation was correctly classified in 72% of liberal-conservative face pairs, remarkably better than chance (50%), human accuracy (55%), or one afforded by a 100-item personality questionnaire (66%). Accuracy was similar across countries (the U.S., Canada, and the UK), environments (Facebook and dating websites), and when comparing faces across samples. Accuracy remained high (69%) even when controlling for age, gender, and ethnicity. Given the widespread use of facial recognition, our findings have critical implications for the protection of privacy and civil liberties.
Project description:Moral reframing involves crafting persuasive arguments that appeal to the targets' moral values but argue in favor of something they would typically oppose. Applying this technique to one of the most politically polarizing events-political campaigns-we hypothesized that messages criticizing one's preferred political candidate that also appeal to that person's moral values can decrease support for the candidate. We tested this claim in the context of the 2016 American presidential election. In Study 1, conservatives reading a message opposing Donald Trump grounded in a more conservative value (loyalty) supported him less than conservatives reading a message grounded in more liberal concerns (fairness). In Study 2, liberals reading a message opposing Hillary Clinton appealing to fairness values were less supportive of Clinton than liberals in a loyalty-argument condition. These results highlight how moral reframing can be used to overcome the rigid stances partisans often hold and help develop political acceptance.