Does Every Cloud Have a Silver Lining? Disasters and Polarization

Abstract
  1. The control condition presents a non-fictitious narrative that indicates how disaster aid was poured into several cities after natural disasters with no partisan signaling or reference to any actor’s name.
  2. The first treatment consists of two layers: In addition to the control narrative, an extra non-fictitious text elaborates how specific opposition municipalities offered significant financial assistance to pro-government cities post-disaster by adopting a cross-partisan discourse. The text signals the opposition political elite’s willingness to communicate across the aisle.
  3. The second treatment consists of three layers: In addition to the control AND first treatment narrative, the added text includes a pro-government news reporting that tries to discredit the opposition party’s disaster relief programs.
  4. The third treatment presents a non-fictitious narrative that includes the control narrative AND an added text that shows how opposition municipalities offered help to pro-Kurdish party districts post-disasters. There are two treatments for pro-government and pro-Kurdish party districts because polarization is not bi-partisan in Turkey. In addition to the high level of polarization between pro-Cumhur (incumbent alliance) and pro-Millet (main opposition alliance) voters, pro-HDP voters are cited as the “most distant” group in nationally-representative surveys.
  1. The control group will be allowed to choose one clip from two listed TV series that will be randomized from a list of four. These clips are selected from non-political Turkish dramas broadcasted by the government TV station TRT.
  2. In the first treatment condition, similarly, we will provide two options for the respondent to choose. These two clips from the TV series will be randomized out of four. All four clips will be from militarist TV series broadcasted by TRT.
  3. All clips will be retrieved from TRT’s historical-Ottomanist genre in the second treatment condition.