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No Evidence for Ideological Asymmetry in Dissonance Avoidance

Unsuccessful Close and Conceptual Replications of Nam, Jost, and van Bavel (2013)

Published Online:https://doi.org/10.1027/1864-9335/a000300

Abstract.Nam, Jost, and van Bavel (2013) found that conservatives were more likely than liberals to avoid dissonance-arousing situations (viz., writing counter-attitudinal essays in a high-choice situation). A close replication of this original research was unsuccessful, as both liberals and conservatives avoided writing counter-attitudinal essays to similar degrees. We conducted an additional experiment that aimed to conceptually replicate Nam et al. (2013), and to examine whether people whose ideology is threatened might be more likely to avoid dissonance-arousing situations. Again, liberals and conservatives were equally likely to avoid writing counter-attitudinal essays. Threat had no effect on these decisions. A meta-analysis of Nam et al.’s (2013) two studies, the two studies presently reported, and a third supplemental study provide no evidence for asymmetry in dissonance avoidance.

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