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The 2008 Presidential Election Gender Gap: The Effects of Prejudicial Attitudes on Voting Intentions



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The 2008 Presidential Election Gender Gap The Effects of Prejudicial Attitudes on Voting Intentions Vernyta Moore Carolyn B Murray Contributor Arpi Festekjian Department of Psychology University of California Riverside AUTHOR Vernyta Moore Psychology ABSTRACT This study examined data from a larger survey that assessed a variety of questions concerning politics ethnic prejudice and perceptions of the 2008 election The major hypotheses predicted that individuals who score high on the Social Dominance Orientation SDO scale a measure of support for a strati ed hierarchical society and those who score high on the Quick Discrimination Index QDI scale a measure of prejudicial cognitive and affective attitudes toward diversity would both be more likely to plan to vote for McCain than for Obama In contrast participants who score low on both these measures would be more likely planning to vote for Obama It was also predicted that males in contrast to females would be higher in SDO and QDI and be more likely to plan to vote for McCain Two hundred thirty seven respondents 82 males 155 females participated in the study which was conducted approximately two weeks before the election Overall the predictions were partially supported A two way ANOVA indicated that those planning to vote for McCain displayed signi cantly more prejudicial bias than those planning to vote for Obama Also as predicted males scored higher on SDO and QDI and were more likely planning to vote for McCain than were females The results are discussed in terms of the actual voting patterns in the 2008 election FA C U LT Y M E N T O R Carolyn B Murray Department of Psychology Vernyta Moore is a graduating senior with a major in Psychology Her research interests include the enhancement and maintenance of physical psychological mental and emotional social and spiritual well being and functioning of individuals families small groups and communities She is currently completing her Honors thesis for the Upper Division



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