Title

In Government We Trust: Or Do We?

Poster Number

37

Lead Author Major

Psychology

Format

Poster Presentation

Faculty Mentor Name

Gary Howells

Faculty Mentor Department

Psychology

Abstract/Artist Statement

Supporting or protesting government's actions is a freedom that U.S. citizens possess. This can be done using both lawful and illegal means of protesting. There are, however, consequences in both supporting and protesting against the government. Past literature demonstrates that people's fears of negative consequences (e.g. embarrassment to deviate against the social norms, confrontation, or self worth) are by and large the reasons why people do not get active when they disagree with governmental actions (Cook & Gronke, 2005; Schyns & Koop, 2009). Other reasons for the lack of initiative may include lack of time, initiative, social views, and diffusion of responsibility. The purpose of the current study was to investigate whether being exposed to a positive or negative video would influence willingness to protest and sign a petition against the current wars in the Middle East. Participants were undergraduate students at a small liberal arts University in Northern California who were randomly assigned to one of the three conditions Participants watched a video that either propagated a positive view of the government (condition 1), a video that propagated a negative view (condition 2), or a neutral video (condition 3). Participants were then asked to complete the Attitude Scale Toward War survey (Ericksen, 1948). The researchers hypothesized that the participants exposed to a short video about past political scandals and issues of unnecessary war (negative video) would have higher scores on the survey and would be more likely to protest and sign a petition against war. Preliminary analyses conducted on a subset of 36 individuals (Mean age= 20.83, SD = 2.27) indicated marginal significance. Final results will be discussed.

Location

DeRosa University Center, Ballroom

Start Date

21-4-2011 6:00 PM

End Date

21-4-2011 8:00 PM

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Apr 21st, 6:00 PM Apr 21st, 8:00 PM

In Government We Trust: Or Do We?

DeRosa University Center, Ballroom

Supporting or protesting government's actions is a freedom that U.S. citizens possess. This can be done using both lawful and illegal means of protesting. There are, however, consequences in both supporting and protesting against the government. Past literature demonstrates that people's fears of negative consequences (e.g. embarrassment to deviate against the social norms, confrontation, or self worth) are by and large the reasons why people do not get active when they disagree with governmental actions (Cook & Gronke, 2005; Schyns & Koop, 2009). Other reasons for the lack of initiative may include lack of time, initiative, social views, and diffusion of responsibility. The purpose of the current study was to investigate whether being exposed to a positive or negative video would influence willingness to protest and sign a petition against the current wars in the Middle East. Participants were undergraduate students at a small liberal arts University in Northern California who were randomly assigned to one of the three conditions Participants watched a video that either propagated a positive view of the government (condition 1), a video that propagated a negative view (condition 2), or a neutral video (condition 3). Participants were then asked to complete the Attitude Scale Toward War survey (Ericksen, 1948). The researchers hypothesized that the participants exposed to a short video about past political scandals and issues of unnecessary war (negative video) would have higher scores on the survey and would be more likely to protest and sign a petition against war. Preliminary analyses conducted on a subset of 36 individuals (Mean age= 20.83, SD = 2.27) indicated marginal significance. Final results will be discussed.