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Explaining Information Effects in Collective Preferences

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Abstract:

This paper explores why individual differences in levels of political knowledge should affect the distribution of some kinds of collective opinions but not others. Answers to this question require a better understanding than has been offered to date of why ill-informed people often hold different opinions than the people who share their demographic characteristics but are better informed about politics. This paper concludes that consistent patterns of ideological bias in collective preferences revealed in previous studies of information effects are neither artifacts of the survey instrument nor of the particular topics posed to respondents. Instead, differences in opinion between ill- and well-informed citizens are shown to arise from both social and psychological factors that influence how ill- and well-informed citizens establish and update their political preferences.

Most Common Document Word Stems:

inform (254), question (208), knowledg (198), effect (173), opinion (150), polit (130), respond (130), survey (113), issu (88), peopl (80), differ (79), level (74), polici (70), point (68), respons (67), attitud (61), among (59), 1996 (58), spend (57), gay (55), specif (54),

Author's Keywords:

political knowledge, information effects, opinion surveys, political psychology
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Name: International Communication Association
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http://www.icahdq.org


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MLA Citation:

Althaus, Scott. "Explaining Information Effects in Collective Preferences" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Communication Association, Marriott Hotel, San Diego, CA, May 27, 2003 <Not Available>. 2009-05-26 <http://www.allacademic.com/meta/p112050_index.html>

APA Citation:

Althaus, S. L. , 2003-05-27 "Explaining Information Effects in Collective Preferences" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Communication Association, Marriott Hotel, San Diego, CA Online <.PDF>. 2009-05-26 from http://www.allacademic.com/meta/p112050_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: This paper explores why individual differences in levels of political knowledge should affect the distribution of some kinds of collective opinions but not others. Answers to this question require a better understanding than has been offered to date of why ill-informed people often hold different opinions than the people who share their demographic characteristics but are better informed about politics. This paper concludes that consistent patterns of ideological bias in collective preferences revealed in previous studies of information effects are neither artifacts of the survey instrument nor of the particular topics posed to respondents. Instead, differences in opinion between ill- and well-informed citizens are shown to arise from both social and psychological factors that influence how ill- and well-informed citizens establish and update their political preferences.

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Document Type: .PDF
Page count: 53
Word count: 18298
Text sample:
Explaining Information Effects in Collective Preferences Abstract This paper explores why individual differences in levels of political knowledge should affect the distribution of some kinds of collective opinions but not others. Answers to this question require a better understanding than has been offered to date of why ill-informed people often hold different opinions than the people who share their demographic characteristics but are better informed about politics. This paper concludes that consistent patterns of ideological bias in collective preferences
Knowledge Quartile Knowledge Quartile Military Jobs Adopt Military Jobs Adopt Feelings Toward .48** .38** .41** .42** .36** .34** Homosexuals Concern for Social .05 .15** .01 .11** .22** .08* Equality Tolerance for Newer -.06 -.06 .16** .32** .25** .40** Morals/Lifestyles R2= .23 .18 .23 .51 .47 .48 N= 418 424 428 555 562 557 * p<.05 ** p<.01 Note. Cells contain standardized OLS (beta) coefficients. Source. 1992 American National Election Studies


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Heuristic and Systematic Biased Processing of Political Messages: Effects of Candidate Preference and the Level of Interest in Politics on Attitudes toward Issues

The Stucture of Public Knowledge About Policy Issues: Issue Public Membership Instigates Issue-Specific Expertise

Comparing self report to latency to respond on political attitude questions with socially desirable outcomes on an Internet-based survey


 
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