Liberal and Conservative Values: What We Can Learn From Congressional Tweets

Kevin L. Jones, Sharareh Noorbaloochi, John T. Jost, Richard Bonneau, Jonathan Nagler, Joshua A. Tucker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Past research using self-report questionnaires administered to ordinary citizens demonstrates that value priorities differ as a function of one's political ideology, but it is unclear whether this conclusion applies to political elites, who are presumably seeking to appeal to very broad constituencies. We used quantitative methods of textual analysis to investigate value-laden language in a collection of 577,555 messages sent from the public Twitter accounts of over 400 members of the U.S. Congress between 2012 and 2014. Consistent with theoretical expectations, we observed that Republican and conservative legislators stressed values of tradition, conformity, and national security (as well as self-direction), whereas Democratic and liberal legislators stressed values of benevolence, universalism, hedonism, and social/economic security (as well as achievement). Implications for the large-scale observational study of political psychology are explored.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)423-443
JournalPolitical Psychology
Volume39
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2018

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Security Measures
Beneficence
Social Security
Self Report
Observational Studies
Language
Economics
Psychology
Research
Values
hedonism
political psychology
universalism
political ideology
twitter
political elite
conformity
national security
quantitative method
social economics

Keywords

  • Congress
  • Conservatives
  • Federal legislators
  • Liberals
  • LIWC
  • Political elites
  • Schwartz circumplex model
  • Social media
  • Twitter
  • Values

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Philosophy
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations

Cite this

Liberal and Conservative Values : What We Can Learn From Congressional Tweets. / Jones, Kevin L.; Noorbaloochi, Sharareh; Jost, John T.; Bonneau, Richard; Nagler, Jonathan; Tucker, Joshua A.

In: Political Psychology, Vol. 39, No. 2, 04.2018, p. 423-443.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Jones, Kevin L. ; Noorbaloochi, Sharareh ; Jost, John T. ; Bonneau, Richard ; Nagler, Jonathan ; Tucker, Joshua A. / Liberal and Conservative Values : What We Can Learn From Congressional Tweets. In: Political Psychology. 2018 ; Vol. 39, No. 2. pp. 423-443.
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