Political Party Identification and Intergroup Attitudes: Exploring the Effects of Mediated and Direct Contact With the Opposing Party During a Presidential Campaign

Mei-Chen Lin, Paul M. Haridakis, Yan Bing Zhang


Drawing from intergroup contact theory and social identity theory, this study explored the indirect effects of out-group partisan media exposure (Fox News for Democrats; MSNBC and CNN for Republicans), and out-group interpersonal political discussions with members of the opposing political party on intergroup bias and intergroup competition through party identity as a mediator. We also accounted for the effects of in-group partisan media exposure (Fox News for Republicans; MSNBC and CNN for Democrats) and interpersonal political discussion with members of one’s own party. The results suggested that interpersonal political discussion with “the other side” (out-group interpersonal discussion) and exposure to in-group media increased prejudicial attitudes and competitive intergroup behaviors, not only directly but also through enhanced party identity.


political identity, intergroup contact, social identity, presidential election, partisan media, political discussion

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