Leavers and Remainers after the Brexit referendum: More united than divided after all?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Since the British “Brexit referendum” in 2016, tensions between ‘leave’ and ‘remain’ voters have been growing. Using a novel analytical approach based on the full distribution of responses rather than their arithmetic means, Study 1 (N=1,506) showed on average 90% of overlap among Leavers and Remainers across a range of important variables. Even on the variables that are commonly used to illustrate how Leavers and Remainers differ (e.g., prejudice against immigrants), the amount of overlap was larger than 50%. In Study 2 (N=206), we demonstrate the importance of focusing on similarities between groups: Presenting the full distribution of responses from Leavers and Remainers rather than their mean differences caused more accurate perceptions of the actual differences and similarities between both groups and higher perceived intergroup harmony. We conclude that similarities between Leavers and Remainers are substantial and that our proposed approach may help to de-escalate tensions between these and other groups.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBritish Journal of Social Psychology
Early online date20 Dec 2019
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 20 Dec 2019

Keywords

  • Brexit
  • Euroscepticism
  • human values
  • national identity
  • prejudice
  • similarity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology

Cite this

@article{0ef8f93aac1e4808b8911a70c0476759,
title = "Leavers and Remainers after the Brexit referendum: More united than divided after all?",
abstract = "Since the British “Brexit referendum” in 2016, tensions between ‘leave’ and ‘remain’ voters have been growing. Using a novel analytical approach based on the full distribution of responses rather than their arithmetic means, Study 1 (N=1,506) showed on average 90{\%} of overlap among Leavers and Remainers across a range of important variables. Even on the variables that are commonly used to illustrate how Leavers and Remainers differ (e.g., prejudice against immigrants), the amount of overlap was larger than 50{\%}. In Study 2 (N=206), we demonstrate the importance of focusing on similarities between groups: Presenting the full distribution of responses from Leavers and Remainers rather than their mean differences caused more accurate perceptions of the actual differences and similarities between both groups and higher perceived intergroup harmony. We conclude that similarities between Leavers and Remainers are substantial and that our proposed approach may help to de-escalate tensions between these and other groups.",
keywords = "Brexit, Euroscepticism, human values, national identity, prejudice, similarity",
author = "Paul Hanel and Lukas Wolf",
year = "2019",
month = "12",
day = "20",
doi = "10.1111/bjso.12359",
language = "English",
journal = "British Journal of Social Psychology",
issn = "0144-6665",
publisher = "Wiley-Blackwell",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Leavers and Remainers after the Brexit referendum

T2 - More united than divided after all?

AU - Hanel, Paul

AU - Wolf, Lukas

PY - 2019/12/20

Y1 - 2019/12/20

N2 - Since the British “Brexit referendum” in 2016, tensions between ‘leave’ and ‘remain’ voters have been growing. Using a novel analytical approach based on the full distribution of responses rather than their arithmetic means, Study 1 (N=1,506) showed on average 90% of overlap among Leavers and Remainers across a range of important variables. Even on the variables that are commonly used to illustrate how Leavers and Remainers differ (e.g., prejudice against immigrants), the amount of overlap was larger than 50%. In Study 2 (N=206), we demonstrate the importance of focusing on similarities between groups: Presenting the full distribution of responses from Leavers and Remainers rather than their mean differences caused more accurate perceptions of the actual differences and similarities between both groups and higher perceived intergroup harmony. We conclude that similarities between Leavers and Remainers are substantial and that our proposed approach may help to de-escalate tensions between these and other groups.

AB - Since the British “Brexit referendum” in 2016, tensions between ‘leave’ and ‘remain’ voters have been growing. Using a novel analytical approach based on the full distribution of responses rather than their arithmetic means, Study 1 (N=1,506) showed on average 90% of overlap among Leavers and Remainers across a range of important variables. Even on the variables that are commonly used to illustrate how Leavers and Remainers differ (e.g., prejudice against immigrants), the amount of overlap was larger than 50%. In Study 2 (N=206), we demonstrate the importance of focusing on similarities between groups: Presenting the full distribution of responses from Leavers and Remainers rather than their mean differences caused more accurate perceptions of the actual differences and similarities between both groups and higher perceived intergroup harmony. We conclude that similarities between Leavers and Remainers are substantial and that our proposed approach may help to de-escalate tensions between these and other groups.

KW - Brexit

KW - Euroscepticism

KW - human values

KW - national identity

KW - prejudice

KW - similarity

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85076928395&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1111/bjso.12359

DO - 10.1111/bjso.12359

M3 - Article

JO - British Journal of Social Psychology

JF - British Journal of Social Psychology

SN - 0144-6665

ER -