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Keywords:

  • right-wing authoritarianism;
  • motivated reasoning;
  • political bias;
  • political intolerance;
  • political demonstration

Accusations of hypocrisy have flown against both supporters and opponents of the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) and Tea Party movements. Integrating the ideologically objectionable premise model (IOPM), a newly devised model of political judgment, with political tolerance research, we find that how the political activities of OWS and Tea Party demonstrators are described determines whether or not biases against these groups emerge among people low and high in right-wing authoritarianism (RWA). Specifically, people low in RWA were more biased against the Tea Party than OWS regardless of whether the groups engaged in normatively threatening or reassuring political behavior, whereas people high in RWA were more biased against OWS than the Tea Party when the groups engaged in normatively threatening (and therefore objectionable), but not normatively reassuring (and therefore acceptable) behavior. These findings further support the IOPM's contention that premise objectionableness, not right-wing orientation, determines biases in political judgment.