This repository contains all R code necessary to reproduce the analysis in "Revision, Reclassification, and Refrigerators," published in Sociological Forum.
Please contact Terence E. McDonnell for details on how to access the data.
Current debates about cultural change question how and how often change in personal culture happens. Is personal culture stable, or under constant revision through interaction with the environment? While recent empirical work finds attitudes are remarkably stable, this paper argues that typifications—how material tokens are classified as a particular mental type by individuals—are more open to transformation as a result of the fundamentally fuzzy nature of classifying. Specifically, this paper investigates the social conditions that lead people to reclassify. How do we move people to see the same thing differently over time? Paying attention to type-token dynamics provides mechanisms for why and under what circumstances personal culture may change. To assess reclassification, the paper analyzes an online survey experiment that asked people to classify refrigerators as owned by "Trump" or "Biden" voters. Those participants who received definitive feedback about the correct answer were more likely to reclassify than are those receiving normative feedback about how "most people" classified the images. Implications for cultural change and persuasion are discussed.