“Obstinate Partisanship”: Political Discussion Attributes Effects on the Development of Unconditional Party Loyalty

Alberto Ardèvol-Abreu, Homero Gil de Zúñiga


Scholarly work has placed political discussion at the center of a healthier democracy. However, this might not always be the case considering the vast amount of different discussion attributes and their effects. This study extends existing research on the influence of different discussion attributes (cognitive elaboration, network size, exposure to disagreement, and online/offline discussion) on political attitude change. To do so, we introduce the concept of obstinate partisanship and explore different discussion attributes as its antecedents. Obstinate partisans remain loyal to their political party irrespective of its performance, just as staunch sports fans do with their team. Results from a survey conducted in three democracies show that discussion network size, discussion disagreement, and offline discussion are all negative predictors of obstinate partisanship. Conversely, online discussion fosters this negative orientation. We finally examine the moderating role of discussion disagreement and network size on some of these relationships.


obstinate partisanship, party identification, discussion elaboration, discussion network size, discussion disagreement, online discussion, offline discussion

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