Master of Arts (MA)
Faculty of Arts
Steve D. Brown
The electoral debut of the Reform Party and Bloc Quebecois allows for an examination of the character and role of party identiﬁcation in political cognition in a manner not previously available to researchers. Campbell and colleagues (1960) American Voter presented a psychological basis for understanding individual-level voting behaviour, where party identiﬁcation affects the vote choice directly and acts as a perceptual screen where the screening function distorts perceptions of political objects that are inconsistent with the citizen's existing political attitudes. The ﬁndings of this study are largely consistent with the notion that, among those who acknowledge an association with a major political party, partisan identiﬁcation appears to be an important structure around which political cognition is organized. Data from the 1993 Canadian election show that the stronger one's positive ratings of one's own leader, party and local candidate the stronger the negative ratings of rival objects. In addition, this tendency to contrast one's own objects relative to the opposition intensiﬁes as partisan identity intensiﬁes.
Colby, Jordan, "Cognitive assimilation-contrast effects among partisan identifiers: An analysis of the 1993 Canadian national election" (1997). Theses and Dissertations (Comprehensive). 66.