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December 21, 2022 @ 12:00 - 13:00
Speaker: Moreno Mancosu (Università di Torino)
Title: Socio-demographic cues and willingness to talk about politics: an experimental approach
Abstract: Recently, the debate around political discussions argued that people tend to use socio-political cues to indirectly identify the partisanship of their discussants (by relying on their lifestyle): when exposed to a lifestyle stereotype of a right-wing/left-wing person (such as a latte drinker/a pickup truck driver in the US), people tend to avoid them, as they represent an outgroup stereotype. An alternative approach (the social distance/homophily argument), states that people generally look for homophily – namely, (not necessarily political) interactions with people who are similar to them in terms of socio-demographic characteristics. The present paper aims at combining the homophily/political discussions arguments, by testing whether the sole socio-demographic differences between people lead to higher/lower propensities to talk about politics. In other words, we ask ourselves whether people are able to indirectly “guess” another individual’s current affairs views by just relying on their socio-demographic properties. To do so, we use a CAWI survey administered via Pollstar, an opt-in community managed by academics, and we design a vignette experiment. In the experiment, respondents (n~2,000) are requested to declare the likelihood of talking about current affairs with a person having specific characteristics. The hypothetical discussant presents randomized socio-demographic characteristics (age, gender, income, and educational level). The randomized characteristics are successively coupled with the bogus respondent’s characteristics, to provide measures of social distance between the respondent and the hypothetical discussant. We believe that the results of the experiment will shed light on the relationship between homophily and political behavior.
The seminar will be held on Wednesday 21st of December 2022, in Aula 205 (ex 32) (DISIA – Viale Morgagni 59).
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