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Political Partisan Prejudice: Selective Distortion and Weighting of Evaluative Categories in College Admissions Applications



Two methods by which people make prejudicial yet justifiable judgments were assessed in a simulated college admissions paradigm in which participants evaluated 2 applications. In the preference condition, the stronger applicant was described as a member of a different political party than the participant. In the control condition, no political party was indicated. Supporting a political partisan prejudice effect, among strong partisans, the stronger applicant was favored in the control condition, but the weaker applicant was favored in the preference condition. No effect was found for weak partisans. Additionally, participants supported their biases by altering the importance of (Study 1) and distorting the strength of (Study 2) different types of application information.

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