This project investigates the effects of social identity and personal characteristics on foreign policy decision-making. The two main US political parties, Democrats and Republicans, were used as markers for social identity. Participants were first instructed to read a scenario regarding a hostile fictional country followed by a speech regarding the same fictional country. Two speeches were created using a content analysis of speeches from Democrats and Republicans prior to the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Participants were randomly placed into one of four conditions. One condition paired a Democratic-themed speech with a Republican speaker, another paired a Democratic speech with a Democratic speaker, the third paired a Republican speech with a Democratic speaker, and the last paired a Republican speech with a Republican speaker. Participants then answered a survey that asked about their policy preferences regarding the fictional country. Manipulated variables were found to be insignificant, whereas the personality characteristics presented different levels of significance based on models of regression analysis. The data indicates that personality characteristics may be a more salient predictor of foreign policy preferences than social identity.
Bachelor of Science (B.S.)
College of Sciences
Aromando, Joseph IV, "Message, Messenger, or Receiver: Effects of Social Identity and Personality Characteristics on Foreign Policy Decision Making" (2021). Honors Undergraduate Theses. 958.