Skip to main content

Toeing the party line: Politically driven responses to the coronavirus pandemic in the USA

Douglas, Karen, Sutton, Robbie M. (2022) Toeing the party line: Politically driven responses to the coronavirus pandemic in the USA. Journal of Social and Political Psychology, 10 (1). pp. 323-334. E-ISSN 2195-3325. (doi:10.5964/jspp.6089) (KAR id:92742)

PDF Publisher pdf
Language: English

Download (572kB) Preview
[thumbnail of 6089-Article-77837-1-10-20220722.pdf]
This file may not be suitable for users of assistive technology.
Request an accessible format
PDF Author's Accepted Manuscript
Language: English

Restricted to Repository staff only

Contact us about this Publication
[thumbnail of DOUGLAS SUTTON JSPP FINAL.pdf]
Official URL:


Polling data indicate that in the USA, Republicans, compared to Democrats, have been less inclined to take preventive measures against coronavirus. In three studies (Ns = 380, 430, and 393), we sought to find evidence for partisan motivations and to illuminate how they translate into attitudes, behavioral intentions and actual behaviors. Results revealed a consensus that the Democratic party wants people take coronavirus seriously. Thus, while Democrats thought it was aligned with their political interests, Republicans thought it was in their opponents’ interests. Further analyses suggest that perceived party interests mediated the effect of party allegiance on attitudes about the seriousness of coronavirus, and both attitudes and intentions to preventive behaviors (Studies 1 and 2) and specifically attitudes and intentions to wear masks (Study 3). This relationship also held for mask-wearing behavior. Results suggest that people’s responses to coronavirus may reflect a conformity to the perceived wishes and interests of their political party.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.5964/jspp.6089
Uncontrolled keywords: Coronavirus, COVID-19, partisanship, politics, identity, Republican, Democrat
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
J Political Science
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Psychology
Depositing User: Karen Douglas
Date Deposited: 18 Jan 2022 16:14 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Aug 2022 09:06 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Douglas, Karen:
Sutton, Robbie M.:
  • Depositors only (login required):


Downloads per month over past year