Date Thesis Awarded

5-2020

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelors of Science (BS)

Department

Psychology

Advisor

Xiaowen Xu

Committee Members

Jennifer Stevens

Frederick Ernst

David Dominique

Abstract

Politics in the United States are increasingly more polarized. To date, there are known differences between conservatives and liberals in relation to societal goals and personality traits. However, little research has explored specific differences in the language used by conservatives and liberals when describing policy preferences, and less has been conducted on the language preferences of self-identified moderates. Additionally, people rely on Compensatory Control Theory to reestablish order, whether through an endorsement of the government or religious organization, when they feel out of control. This study aimed to expand the existing literature on the types of language used when explicitly discussing the rationale for making certain policy ratings. We found that there were significant differences in the language used by different political groups across the when describing policy ratings.

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