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<p>Identity-protection cognition proposes that individual belief formation, truth-independent, is shaped by the goal to maintain one’s status within an affinity group. As a result, group-belief-congruent inferences are more likely to be drawn than group-belief-incongruent inferences. Drawing on the increased relevance of emotion in both political science and cognition, we argue that emotional reactions mediate the relation of political identity and information processing in identity-protection cognition. In an online study, 463 German adults were asked to interpret numerical information in two politically polarizing contexts (refugee intake and driving ban for Diesel cars) and one non-polarizing context (treatment of skin rash). Results showed that, although emotions were mostly unrelated to political identity, they predicted performance more consistently than political identity and cognitive sophistication. </p> <p>Keywords: misinformation, identity-protection cognition, emotions, mediation, cognitive sophistication</p>
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