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Psychology discovery: The power of exposure to an American Flag

A photo of an American flag has power over the minds of men and women, implies this study:

Travis-J-CarterA Single Exposure to the American Flag Shifts Support Toward Republicanism up to 8 Months Later,” Travis J. Carter [pictured here], Melissa J. Ferguson and Ran R. Hassin, Psychological Science, 2011 22: 1011. The authors at the University of Chicago, Cornell University, and Hebrew University, explain:

“396 participants were recruited through advertising in online social-networking sites (e.g., Facebook.com) to participate in an online survey in exchange for a $10 Amazon.com gift certificate…. For participants in the control condition, there was nothing in the corner of the survey (to view the survey, see Experimental Manipulations in the Supplemental Material). Except for this single presentation of the American flag on this particular survey, the procedure and materials in all sessions were identical for all participants…. Our results also demonstrate that a single exposure to a national flag can have wide-ranging effects. “

AmericanFlagThe American Psychological Association, which publishes the journal Psychological Science, issued a press release about it, with the headline “Sneaky Stars and Stripes” and the flag photo you see here.

BONUS: Dr. Carter also published a solo essay, in Psychology Today, with the headline “Despite What You Might Have Heard, Psychology is Science“, as we mentioned by way of giving context to a previous blog item.

UPDATE: Rolf Zwaan says “This finding has recently been massively non-replicated, as I describe here.”

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