Yes We Did! Basking in Reflected Glory and Cutting Off Reflected Failure in the 2008 Presidential Election

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In two studies, the tendency to Bask in Reflected Glory (BIRG) or Cut Off Reflected Failure (CORF) was examined in the context of the 2008 presidential election. Experiment 1, a field study, found that yard or window signs endorsing successful Democratic candidate Barack Obama were displayed longer than signs endorsing his opponent. Experiment 2 utilized a survey methodology to explore moderators of the BIRG effect implied by prior research. Self-esteem was shown to moderate CORF, such that individuals with lower self-esteem distanced themselves from the unsuccessful presidential candidate. Other moderators consistent with the cognitive consistency basis of BIRG, strength of identification and self-serving attributions, were not. Reasons for these findings are discussed, and future directions for research on BIRG are proposed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved) (journal abstract)

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