Seeing The American Flag Shifts Beliefs Toward Republicanism Up To 8 Months Later

flagAssociation for Psychological Science on a study revealing the American flag logo as a powerful psychological tool:

A study found that exposure to the American flag led to a shift toward Republican beliefs, attitudes, and voting behavior.

Psychological scientists Travis Carter (University of Chicago), Melissa Ferguson (Cornell University), and Ran Hassin (Hebrew University) challenge the notion that subtle cues in the environment can’t (or don’t) significantly alter people’s political judgments.

Volunteers were asked to complete various surveys on their voting intentions and opinions on the Republican and Democratic parties and their leaders. Some volunteers were subtly exposed to an American flag while others were not. Results found that a single exposure to the American flag shifted volunteers’ voting intentions, behavior, attitudes, and beliefs toward the Republican end of the spectrum, and some of these effects even lasted 8 months after the initial exposure.

To test whether the flag creates a shift specifically toward Republicanism rather than toward whichever party is currently in control, a second experiment was conducted in the spring of 2010 while the Democrats had the majority in both houses and control of the White House. Volunteers in the flag prime group still shifted their views towards the Republican side.

14 Comments on "Seeing The American Flag Shifts Beliefs Toward Republicanism Up To 8 Months Later"

  1. Rus Archer | Dec 16, 2013 at 3:16 pm |

    maybe if you’re an idiot

    • VaudeVillain | Dec 16, 2013 at 9:47 pm |

      Many more people are idiots than are willing to admit it.

    • “Person with a mental disability” is the current term preferred by Minitrue of ‘Murica.

      Casual observation of the voting population tends to suggest this condition is reaching epidemic proportions.

    • Christopher Brooks | Dec 17, 2013 at 9:15 pm |

      Actually, all evidence, at least that I’m aware of, shows that susceptibility to subtle psychological cues like visual symbolism isn’t correlated negatively with intelligence. It does seem correlated positively with suggestibility and creativity though*shrugs* The intelligent and self-aware response would be to be aware of this and use it to your advantage by being very careful about what symbols one surrounds oneself with… which means that caution with such a symbolism-rich environment as the internet is a message one may want to propagate in some form.

  2. emperorreagan | Dec 16, 2013 at 3:41 pm |

    Whenever I see the flag, I think “Old Glory Hole.”

  3. Adam's Shadow | Dec 16, 2013 at 4:38 pm |

    Well, this explains a lot.

  4. InfvoCuernos | Dec 16, 2013 at 4:47 pm |

    A little bit of a stretch.

  5. American Cannibal | Dec 16, 2013 at 5:47 pm |

    Another great reason to burn the flag! Thanks, Disinfo.

  6. Of course, my first instinct is to call bullshit on this. But you know, there are a lot of serious dumb-fucks out there, so maybe.

  7. Rhoid Rager | Dec 17, 2013 at 12:12 am |

    I would hazard a guess that the old glory evokes the same emotions for many non-americans that the swastika evokes for jews. if it’s not on that level yet, it probably will be in a decade or two.

  8. Rhoid Rager | Dec 17, 2013 at 12:17 am |

    Staring at that rag every morning with one’s hand over one’s heart and reciting the pledge of allegiance would condition one into a Pavlovian response.

  9. rhetorics_killer | Dec 17, 2013 at 3:01 am |

    This is the reality of right-wing arguments: dumb-ass theories, calls for ‘instinctive’ urges; spreading idiocy is at the very base of the agenda ..

  10. I think this is more a case of Stockholm Syndrome than base stupidity. And yes, there’s a difference.

Comments are closed.