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The Rationalizing Voter

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Part of Cambridge Studies in Public Opinion and Political Psychology

  • Authors:
  • Milton Lodge, Stony Brook University, State University of New York
  • Charles S. Taber, Stony Brook University, State University of New York
  • Date Published: April 2013
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521763509

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  • Political behavior is the result of innumerable unnoticed forces and conscious deliberation is often a rationalization of automatically triggered feelings and thoughts. Citizens are very sensitive to environmental contextual factors such as the title 'President' preceding 'Obama' in a newspaper headline, upbeat music or patriotic symbols accompanying a campaign ad, or question wording and order in a survey, all of which have their greatest influence when citizens are unaware. This book develops and tests a dual-process theory of political beliefs, attitudes and behavior, claiming that all thinking, feeling, reasoning and doing have an automatic component as well as a conscious deliberative component. The authors are especially interested in the impact of automatic feelings on political judgments and evaluations. This research is based on laboratory experiments, which allow the testing of five basic hypotheses: hot cognition, automaticity, affect transfer, affect contagion and motivated reasoning.

    • Brings together three points of study in an innovative way: motivated biases in political reasoning; unconscious influences on political deliberation and behavior; and primacy of feelings over thinking in political cognition
    • Based upon laboratory experiments testing five basic hypotheses: hot cognition, automaticity, affect transfer, affect contagion and motivated reasoning
    • Demonstrates that conscious deliberation is often the result of automatically-triggered feelings and thoughts
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    Awards

    • Winner of the 2014 Robert E. Lane Award, Political Psychology Section, American Political Science Association
    More

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    Product details

    • Date Published: April 2013
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521763509
    • length: 300 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 21 mm
    • weight: 0.52kg
    • contains: 51 b/w illus. 13 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Unconscious thinking on political judgment, reasoning, and behavior
    2. The John Q. Public model of political information processing
    3. Experimental tests of automatic hot cognition
    4. Implicit identifications in political information processing
    5. Affect transfer and the evaluation of political candidates
    6. Affective contagion and political thinking
    7. Motivated political reasoning
    8. A computational model of the citizen as motivated reasoner
    9. Affect, cognition, emotion: which way the causal arrow?

  • Instructors have used or reviewed this title for the following courses

    • Comparative Political Institutions (PhD seminar)
    • Human Behavior as Rational Action
    • Public Opinion
    • Public Opinion, Voting, and Elections
  • Authors

    Milton Lodge, Stony Brook University, State University of New York
    Milton Lodge is a Distinguished University Professor of Political Science at Stony Brook University. He is the author of three books and numerous research articles in political science and psychology, a Fulbright Research Scholar (Nepal), a Research Scholar at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

    Charles S. Taber, Stony Brook University, State University of New York
    Charles S. Taber is a Professor of Political Science and Dean of the Graduate School at Stony Brook University. He has written several books and many articles on political psychology and computational modeling in the social sciences. He is the winner of nine research grants from the National Science Foundation. Professor Taber is a past editor of the journal Political Psychology and serves on several editorial boards in political science.

    Awards

    • Winner of the 2014 Robert E. Lane Award, Political Psychology Section, American Political Science Association
    • Winner of the 2014 Best Book Award, Experimental Research Section, American Political Science Association
    • Co-Winner of the 2014 Best Book Award, Migration and Citizenship Section, American Political Science Association

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