I think that the experiment outlined in your recent op-ed (“Is your doctor a Republican? Does it matter?”) merely stated the obvious (that knowing political leanings does affect decision-making). I would have been surprised if the result had been different.
I also think the result would have been the same if political statements typically identified with the Democratic Party had been used. The results would just have been skewed to the left rather than the right.
I would like to see the researchers design an experiment that would determine the “hierarchy of like-mindedness.” That is, if people agreed about religious statements but disagreed on political statements, would that be sufficient to override the disagreement and cause people to be more likely to listen? Or, would a particular cultural issue (LGBT rights, for example) take precedence over political, religious, racial, or any other position in establishing a bond?
This would be a more interesting and enlightening experiment, the results of which would be more worthy of publication.
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