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Red and Blue Voices: Effects of Political Ideology on Consumers’ Complaining and Disputing Behavior
journal of consumer research (2017)
  • Donnel A Briley
  • Kiju Jung, University of Sydney, Australia
  • Ellen Garbarino, University of Sydney, Australia
  • Jesse Wynhausen, University of Sydney, Australia
Political ideology plays a pivotal role in shaping individuals’ attitudes, opinions, and
behaviors. However, apart from a handful of studies, little is known about how consumers’
political ideology affects their marketplace behavior. The authors used three large consumer
complaint databases from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, National Highway Traffic
Safety Administration, and Federal Communication Committee in conjunction with a countylevel
indicator of political ideology (the 2012 US presidential election results) to demonstrate
that conservative consumers are not only less likely than liberal consumers to report complaints
but also less likely to dispute complaint resolutions. A survey also sheds light on the relationship
between political ideology and complaint/dispute behavior. Due to stronger motivations to
engage in “system justification,” conservative (as opposed to liberal) consumers are less likely to
complain or dispute. The present research offers a useful means of identifying those consumers
most and least likely to complain and dispute, given that political ideology is more observable
than most psychological factors and more stable than most situational factors. Furthermore, this
research and its theoretical framework open opportunities for future research examining the
influence of political ideology on other marketplace behaviors.
  • political ideology,
  • consumer complaint and dispute,
  • customer satisfaction,
  • public data
Publication Date
Winter February 8, 2017
Citation Information
Donnel A Briley, Kiju Jung, Ellen Garbarino and Jesse Wynhausen. "Red and Blue Voices: Effects of Political Ideology on Consumers’ Complaining and Disputing Behavior" journal of consumer research (2017)
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Creative Commons license
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons CC_BY-NC International License.