Partisan and affective polarization should have observable consequences in Canada, such as bias in political information search and processing. This article presents the results of three studies that test for partisan and ideological bias using the Digital Democracy Project's study of the 2019 Canadian election. Study 1 uses a conjoint experiment where respondents choose from pairs of hypothetical news stories where the slant of the source and headline are both randomized. Study 2 tests for partisan-motivated responsiveness to elite cues with a policy vignette that manipulates the presence of party elite cues and a motivational prime. Study 3 requires respondents to solve a randomly assigned numeracy task that is either political or nonpolitical in nature. Results suggest that Canadians (1) select politically congenial information, though not sources of such information, (2) follow elite cues when partisan motivation is primed and (3) evaluate evidence in ways that are biased by their ideological beliefs.
Merkley, E. (2021). Ideological and partisan bias in the canadian public. Canadian Journal of Political Science, 54(2), 267–291. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0008423921000147
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