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Defending the Status Quo: Power and Bias in Social Conflict
Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin
Format: Journal Article
Publication Year: n/a
Pages: 1066-1077
Source ID: shanti-sources-22907
Zotero Collections: Contexts of Contemplation Project
Abstract: We hypothesized that partisans who represent power and the status quo would judge their opponents less accurately than would partisans seeking change, who would be stereotyped as extremists. We surveyed the attitudes and book preferences of traditionalist and revisionist English professors, who differed in their inclinations to preserve or change the literary status quo. Both groups overestimated the differences in their attitudes and book preferences, the extremity of their opponent's conviction, and the numerical balances of the two sides. Consistent with the status quo hypotheses, traditionalists were more prone to polarize the two sides' attitudes and underestimate the book preferences they shared with their opponents, and both sides attributed more extreme convictions to revisionists. Discussion focused on mechanisms related to power-related biases.