Tobias Ebert, Jana Berkessel, Thorsteinn Jonsson
Political person–culture match and longevity: The partisanship–mortality link depends on the cultural context

Psychological Science, 2023: 34, Heft 11, S. 1192-1205
ISSN: 0956-7976 (print), 1467-9280 (online)

Recent studies demonstrate that Republicans live longer than Democrats. We examined whether these longevity benefits are universal or culturally varying. Following a person–culture match perspective, we hypothesized that Republicans’ longevity benefits occur in Republican, but not in Democratic, states. To test this argument, we conducted two studies among U.S. adults. In preregistered Study 1, we used large survey data (extended U.S. General Social Survey; N = 42,855). In confirmatory Study 2, we analyzed obituaries/biographies of deceased U.S. political partisans (novel data web-scraped from an online cemetery; N = 9,177). Both studies supported the person–culture match perspective with substantial effect sizes. In Republican contexts, up to 50.1% of all Republicans but only 36.3% of all Democrats reached an age of 80 years. In Democratic contexts, there was no such longevity gap. Robustness tests showed that this effect generalizes to political ideology and holds across spatial levels but is limited to persons with strong political convictions.