Graduation Semester and Year




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology



First Advisor

William Ickes


The debt ceiling crisis of 2011, the government shutdown of 2013, and the extension of partisanship past the water's edge into Ukrainian-Russian and Israeli-Iranian politics are all recent examples of how polarized American politics has become. Despite the growing desire and necessity for more compromise in American politics, "the systematic study of compromise remains surprisingly under-developed" (Bellamy, Kornprobst, & Reh, 2012). The purpose of this dissertation was to test the premise that citizens create congress, and therefore citizens who value compromise could incentivize more integrative negotiations than citizens who only want their representative to adhere to their values. Using the dyadic negotiation paradigm from Aaldering and De Dreu's (2012) experiment, I had self-identified Democrats and Republicans negotiate over several political issues while playing the role of representatives seeking reelection. For dyads whose (hypothetical) constituents desired partisanship, Republicans were more competitive and had higher individual outcomes than Democrats; however, outcomes did not differ between parties for dyads whose constituents desired compromise. Interestingly, only dyads with a partisan Republican were affected by the manipulation, whereas outcomes for dyads with a moderate Republican did not differ between conditions. These findings suggest that citizens can incentivize compromise when it is electorally consequential, particularly among conservative Republicans.


Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences


Degree granted by The University of Texas at Arlington

Included in

Psychology Commons