Are politically diverse Thanksgiving dinners shorter than politically uniform ones?
journal contributionposted on 10.04.2021, 19:58 by JA Frimer, LJ Skitka
© 2020 Frimer, Skitka. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Americans on the political left and right are engaged in a Culture War with one another, one that is often characterized by mutual fear, antipathy, and avoidance. Are there safe havens from the socially straining effects of this Culture War, times and places where Americans of different political stripes gather and put aside their political differences? Previous research (Chen & Rohla, 2018) implied that there might not be insofar as even intimate family gatherings seem to be subject to Culture War tensions. They found that politically diverse Thanksgiving Dinners were 35-70 minutes shorter than politically uniform ones, representing a 14- 27% reduction in overall dinner duration. Noting analytical and methodological limitations in the prior analysis, we conducted two pre-registered studies to test whether diverse dinners are shorter than uniform ones and to attempt to conceptually replicate and extend this prior analysis. Individual analyses yielded mixed results, with null models generally supported but effect estimates generally overlapping with those of Chen and Rohla (2018). A mega-analysis found that, when controlling for various covariates, politically diverse dinners were 24 minutes shorter than politically uniform ones, 95% confidence interval = [9, 39], representing a 6% decrease in the total dinner time [2%-10%]. This final result successfully replicates Chen and Rohla (2018) both in terms of effect overlap and direct-and-significance criteria while nonetheless favoring the conclusion that politics is not straining family ties as much as previously thought.