Is there a way to instantly make people more likely to vote Republican?
There is scant evidence that incidental cues in the environment significantly alter people’s political judgments and behavior in a durable way. We report that a brief exposure to the American flag led to a shift toward Republican beliefs, attitudes, and voting behavior, for both Republican and Democratic participants. Despite participants’ overwhelming belief to the contrary, in Experiment 1, conducted online during the 2008 U.S. presidential election, participants who received a single exposure to an American flag exhibited a significant increase in Republican voting intentions, voting behavior, political beliefs, and implicit and explicit attitudes, with some effects lasting 8 months after the initial priming episode. In Experiment 2, we replicated the findings over a year into the current Democratic presidential administration. These results provide the first evidence that a national flag can bias the citizenry without their awareness toward one political party, with the effects showing considerable durability.
Source: “LONG-TERM EFFECTS OF U.S. FLAG EXPOSURE ON REPUBLICANISM” from Travis J. Carter, Center for Decision Research, University of Chicago Booth School of Business