Independents aren't all that independent. They're pathetic dodgers of commitment, that's what. A new study shows that, if you give them a certain test, it turns out that they will choose one party or another according to its label, not its policies.
The psychologists who developed the test are two University of Virginia psychologists -- Brian Nosek and Carlee Beth Hawkins -- who spoke with NPR about it.
Nosek and Hawkins proved the test was measuring people's real attitudes by asking the volunteers to evaluate different policies. Some were labeled Democratic ideas. Others were labeled Republican. Then Nosek secretly switched the labels. The idea that used to be called Democratic was now labeled Republican, and the idea that used to be Republican was now labeled Democratic.
"What we found was that independents who were implicitly Democratic tended to favor the plan proposed by Democrats," Nosek said. "And independents who were implicitly Republican tended to favor the plan proposed by Republicans. And it didn't matter which plan was which."
When a plan was labeled Democratic, in other words, independents who were implicitly Democratic supported it — and they opposed it when the label was changed to Republican. Party labels, not ideas, determined which proposals these voters supported. That's the definition of partisanship — where loyalty to the team comes first; the ideas come second. ...NPR
You wouldn't be fooled by a switch in labels, right?