Presidential preference polls provide a clear indication of how American conservatives are reacting to the terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, California. They’ve basically doubled down on their America-first mindset, with large numbers endorsing candidates who express hostility toward outsiders such as immigrants and Muslims.
OK, but what about liberals? Have they clung tighter to their basic beliefs, as one school of thought would suggest, or shifted to the right, as another predicts?
New British research suggests the latter is far more likely. At least, that’s what happened in the United Kingdom following a similarly tragic terrorist attack.
A research team led by University of Kent psychologists Julie Van de Vyver and Diana Houston report that, following the July 7, 2005, bombing of the London Underground, the British public expressed higher levels of anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim prejudice.
In the journal Psychological Science, the researchers report on two large, nationally representative surveys featuring a total of 2,031 British citizens. The first took place six weeks before the al-Qaeda-organized July 7, 2005, attack on London’s public transportation system that killed 52 people and injured 770 more. The second was conducted one month after those bombings.
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