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The Impact of Subliminal Exposure to National Symbols on Attitudes to the Constitutional Status of Scotland: An Experimental Approach

This study, funded by the British Academy, was the first to assess, in an experimental framework, the extent to which implicit exposure to UK and Scottish identity triggers provokes a shift in political attitudes, specifically in attitudes towards the constitutional status of Scotland. The study evaluated the extent to which exposure to implicit visual cues that raise the salience of either Scotland or the UK can shape attitudes to Scotland’s constitutional status. In a public opinion experiment conducted online by YouGov, we examined how exposure to symbols associated with the United Kingdom, symbols associated with Scotland or symbols associated with Scottish nationalism affect public attitudes to Scotland’s constitutional status. 

Research team: Professor Laura Cram (PI), University of Edinburgh; Dr Stratos Patrikios, University of Strathclyde; Professor James Mitchell, University of Edinburgh. 

Thank you to all who participated in this research. We hope that you find the results interesting.