Week 9: Limitations

May 26, 2022

No study is perfect. Some of the unique design choices may have benefitted my study in some ways but harmed it in others. The winner effect playing such a large role in the results may be a downside. The 2020 election may have made conservatives more accepting towards violence and liberals less accepting. In the same vein, right wing media’s support for the Capitol Riot vs. left wing media’s condemnation may have led to diverging opinions. While this limitation may affect total results, it doesn’t affect the lack of correlation among liberals. Overall party rhetoric like that in the media may play an important role in establishing correlation, especially if that news source argues that elections are rigged and advocates for violence. 

This survey’s rhetoric also impacted results. By asking the John Locke question, the violence was looked at in a more patriotic way and may have limited anti-patriotic political violence being supported. Anti-American sentiment is something that is often thrown around in politics as an accusation but the reality of it is more uncertain. Nonetheless this study failed to check for it due to how the questionnaire couldn’t argue that political violence is both patriotic and anti-patriotic without damaging the results. 

In addition, the two schools being similar despite slight demographic differences may have impacted the results. Campus and local culture may have impacted how people view these topics especially from two East Coast big city schools. While this may not interact with the specific research question, it may weaken this study’s ability to be more representative of all college students. In spite of this, it is unclear how campus culture may impact the correlation and not just the political makeup of the student body.

Lastly, this study falls victim to the same problem as all other studies looking at support for political violence as it doesn’t actually measure likeliness to commit political violence. This is an overall flaw in the field due to a general difficulty in measurement.

Talk to you next week,


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