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.

  • Rus Archer

    maybe if you’re an idiot

    • VaudeVillain

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

    • ÿ

      “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

      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.

  • DeepCough
  • emperorreagan

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

  • Adam’s Shadow

    Well, this explains a lot.

  • InfvoCuernos

    A little bit of a stretch.

  • American Cannibal

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

  • Juan

    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.

  • Rhoid Rager

    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.

  • Rhoid Rager

    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.

  • rhetorics_killer

    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 ..

  • Andrew

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