The Rationalizing Voter

Author: Milton Lodge
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 0521763509
Format: PDF
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When citizens think about political leaders, groups and issues, their feelings bias how information is encoded, evaluated and acted upon.

The Nature and Origins of Mass Opinion

Author: John R. Zaller
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521407861
Format: PDF
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In this book John Zaller develops a comprehensive theory to explain how people acquire political information from the mass media and convert it into political preferences. Using numerous specific examples, Zaller applies this theory in order to explain the dynamics of public opinion on a broad range of subjects, including both domestic and foreign policy, trust in government, racial equality, and presidential approval, as well as voting behavior in U.S. House, Senate and Presidential elections. Particularly perplexing characteristics of public opinion are also examined, such as the high degree of random fluctuations in political attitudes observed in opinion surveys and the changes in attitudes due to minor changes in the wording of survey questions.

Thinking about Political Psychology

Author: James H. Kuklinski
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9781139439206
Format: PDF, ePub
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In this 2002 volume, political psychologists take a hard look at political psychology. They pose and then address, the kinds of tough questions that those outside the field would be inclined to ask and those inside should be able to answer satisfactorily. Not everyone will agree with the answers the authors provide and in some cases, the best an author can do is offer well-grounded speculations. Nonetheless, the chapters raise questions that will lead to an improved political psychology and will generate further discussion and research in the field. The individual chapters are organised around four themes. Part I tries to define political psychology and provides an overview of the field. Part II raises questions about theory and empirical methods in political psychology. Part III contains arguments ranging from the position that the field is too heavily psychological to the view that it is not psychological enough. Part IV considers how political psychologists might best connect individual-level mental processes to aggregate outcomes.

The Authoritarian Dynamic

Author: Karen Stenner
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521534789
Format: PDF
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What is the basis for intolerance? This book addresses that question by developing a universal theory about what causes intolerance of difference in general, which includes racism, political intolerance (e.g. restriction of free speech), moral intolerance (e.g. homophobia, supporting censorship, opposing abortion) and punitiveness. It demonstrates that all these seemingly disparate attitudes are principally caused by just two factors: individuals' innate psychological predispositions to intolerance ('authoritarianism') interacting with changing conditions of societal threat.

Reasoning and Choice

Author: Paul M. Sniderman
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521407700
Format: PDF, ePub
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A major new theoretical explanation of how ordinary people decide what to favour and what to oppose politically.

Impersonal Influence

Author: Diana C. Mutz
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521637268
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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People's perceptions of the attitudes and experiences of mass collectives are an increasingly important force in contemporary political life. In Impersonal Influence, Mutz goes beyond simply providing examples of how impersonal influence matters in the political process to provide a micro-level understanding of why information about distant and impersonal others often influence people's political attitudes and behaviors. Impersonal Influence is worthy of attention both from the standpoint of its impact on contemporary politics, and because of its potential to expand the boundaries of our understanding of social influence processes, and media's relation to them. The book's conclusions do not exonerate media from the effects of inaccurate portrayals of collective experience or opinion, but they suggest that the ways in which people are influenced by these perceptions are in themselves, not so much deleterious to democracy as absolutely necessary to promoting accountability in a large scale society.

Unspoken Politics

Author: Efrén O. Pérez
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1107133734
Format: PDF, ePub
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This book offers a comprehensive look at the conceptualization, measurement, and political impacts of implicit attitudes.

Follow the Leader

Author: Gabriel S. Lenz
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226472159
Format: PDF, Docs
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In a democracy, we generally assume that voters know the policies they prefer and elect like-minded officials who are responsible for carrying them out. We also assume that voters consider candidates' competence, honesty, and other performance-related traits. But does this actually happen? Do voters consider candidates’ policy positions when deciding for whom to vote? And how do politicians’ performances in office factor into the voting decision? In Follow the Leader?, Gabriel S. Lenz sheds light on these central questions of democratic thought. Lenz looks at citizens’ views of candidates both before and after periods of political upheaval, including campaigns, wars, natural disasters, and episodes of economic boom and bust. Noting important shifts in voters’ knowledge and preferences as a result of these events, he finds that, while citizens do assess politicians based on their performance, their policy positions actually matter much less. Even when a policy issue becomes highly prominent, voters rarely shift their votes to the politician whose position best agrees with their own. In fact, Lenz shows, the reverse often takes place: citizens first pick a politician and then adopt that politician’s policy views. In other words, they follow the leader. Based on data drawn from multiple countries, Follow the Leader? is the most definitive treatment to date of when and why policy and performance matter at the voting booth, and it will break new ground in the debates about democracy.

What Americans Know about Politics and why it Matters

Author: Michael X. Delli Carpini
Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 9780300072754
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Drawing on new data from extensive surveys, two leading experts in the study of public opinion and political behaviour provide a comprehensive analysis of the American public's knowledge of politics.