Appealing to the ‘good people’: Can politicians appeal to social groups by describing them as warm and competent?

Project Details


Parties tailor their communication to win public support. One way of doing so is by appealing to social groups. In this project, we investigate whether politicians can appeal to social groups by flattering them. Politicians often emphasize their own positive qualities like warmth and competence (valence qualities) and voters strongly prefer politicians whom they perceive as competent and especially warm. Yet we lack knowledge about whether politicians can also muster support from social groups by describing them as warm and competent and, if so, which is most effective. To study this, we use survey experiments embedded in nationally representative surveys (Denmark and the United States). Respondents receive in-group appeals to the working, the middle, and the upper middle class in which social group flattery is randomly assigned in addition to the politician’s party and gender.
Short titleAppealing to the ‘good people’
Effective start/end date01/11/2022 → …


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