According to a new survey, Trump supporters employ less cognitively complex words and more simplified modes of thinking than Biden supporters

According to a new survey, Trump supporters employ less cognitively complex words and more simplifie ...

New research from the JournalSocial Psychological and Personality Sciences suggests that Trump supporters are more simple-minded and happy than Biden supporters. A text analysis of written narratives from Unites States citizens revealed that Trump supporters used a more positive, less cognitively complex language, and suggested a simplified and categorical way of thinking.

Studies have suggested that rigid and categorical thinking is found at both extremes of the political spectrum. By analysing the psycholinguistic patterns of US citizens, researchers have discovered evidence from the field of political psychology.

Abe collected narratives from a demographically diverse sample of 1,518 men and women who shared their views on the then-upcoming presidential election in the United States. As part of the same survey, participants also determined which candidate they intended to vote for (i.e., Biden, Trump, someone else, undecided, or not voting), and their own personality and personality, according to the Ten-Item Personality Inventory.

Three computerized text analysis programs were used to evaluate participants'' narratives. The Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count (LIWC) were used to measure complexity of thinking, and the Sentiment Analysis and Social Cognition Engine (SEANCE) were used to determine positive and negative effects.

Extremely enthusiastic Trump supporters were the highest on categorical thinking and the lowest on complexity. Compared to less enthusiastic Trump supporters, Biden supporters used more positive emotional words. Unlike Trump supporters, they also used less positive emotions words.

Interestingly, the more respondents believed Trump was trustworthy/hathy, the lower their categorical thinking scores, and the higher their score for dialectical thinking the ability to see things from competing perspectives. This suggests that dedication to a particular candidate may stifle a person''s capacity to think critically.

A study by Lee Drutman in 2021 found that respect to Trump correlated with support for the Stop the Steal campaign. A future study might examine whether extremist supporters, who praise their preferred candidate widely on trustworthiness/integrity, and use simple and categorical terminology are particularly susceptible to falling prey to such incorrect beliefs.

While the scores of enthusiastic Trump supporters were reflective of simplistic and categorical thinking, more enthusiasm for the candidate was associated with less complexity and more categorical thinking.

While these findings differ from the previous findings, the evidence suggests that political extremists are more close-minded than moderates. Despite these findings, there is still some overlap between these two findings and the findings of previous studies, suggesting that language use differs widely depending on the context (e.g., a narrative written for a study versus a tweet composed for a Twitter audience).

Although the results of this study are broadly consistent with the conviction that conservatives might be more simple-minded and happier than liberals, Abe says, these findings must be combined with the same method and different groups of candidates during another election to demonstrate their generalizability.

Jo Ann A. Abe.''s research, entitled Cognitive-Affective Styles of Biden and Trump Supporters: An Automated Text Analysis Study, was authored.

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