Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-684bc48f8b-cvrnb Total loading time: 0.249 Render date: 2021-04-10T23:14:56.779Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "metricsAbstractViews": false, "figures": false, "newCiteModal": false, "newCitedByModal": true }

Partisan Disagreements Arising from Rationalization of Common Information*

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 October 2015

Abstract

Why do opposing partisans sometimes disagree about the facts and processes that are relevant to understanding political issues? One explanation is that citizens may have a psychological tendency toward adopting beliefs about the political world that rationalize their partisan preferences. Previous quantitative evidence for rationalization playing a role in explaining partisan factual disagreement has come from cross-sectional covariation and from correction experiments. In this paper, I argue that these rationalizations can occur as side effects when citizens change their attitudes in response to partisan cues and substantively relevant facts about a political issue. Following this logic, I motivate and report the results of a survey experiment that provides US Republicans and Democrats with information that they will be inclined to rationalize in different ways, because they have different beliefs about which political actors they should agree with. The results are a novel experimental demonstration that partisan disagreements about the political world can arise from rationalization.

Type
Original Articles
Copyright
© The European Political Science Association 2015 

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below.

Footnotes

*

Benjamin E. Lauderdale, Associate Professor, Department of Methodology, London School of Economics and Political Science, Houghton Street, London WC2A 2AE (b.e.lauderdale@lse.ac.uk). In addition to the editors and reviewers of this journal, the author thanks Chris Achen, Larry Bartels, John Bullock, Nick Carnes, Andy Eggers, Sarah Goff, Tali Mendelberg, Markus Prior, Marco Steenbergen and many others for comments on this paper and the various working papers from which it derived. To view supplementary material for this article, please visit http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/psrm.2015.51.

References

Bartels, Larry M. 2002. ‘Beyond the Running Tally: Partisan Bias in Political Perceptions’. Political Behavior 24(2):117150.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bartels, Larry M. 2007. Unequal Democracy. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
Berelson, Bernard R., Lazarsfeld, Paul F., and McPhee, William N.. 1954. Voting. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
Bullock, John G. 2011. ‘Elite Influence on Public Opinion in an Informed Electorate’. American Political Science Review 105:496515.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bullock, John G., Gerber, Alan S., Hill, Seth, and Huber, Gregory A.. 2013. ‘Partisan Bias in Factual Beliefs About Politics’. Working Paper No. 19080, NBER, Cambridge, MA.Google Scholar
Cohen, Geoffrey. 2003. ‘Party Over Policy: The Dominating Impact of Group Influence on Political Beliefs’. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 85(5):808822.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Evans, Geoffrey, and Pickup, Mark. 2010. ‘Reversing the Causal Arrow: The Political Conditioning of Economic Perceptions in the 2000–2004 U.S. Presidential Election Cycle’. Journal of Politics 72(4):12361251.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Festinger, Leon. 1957. A Theory of Cognitive Dissonance. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
Gaines, Brian J., Kuklinski, James H., Quirk, Paul J., Peyton, Buddy, and Verkuilen, Jay. 2007. ‘Same Facts, Different Interpretations: Partisan Motivation and Opinion on Iraq’. Journal of Politics 69(4):957974.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Gilens, Martin. 2001. ‘Political Ignorance and Collective Policy Preferences’. American Political Science Review 95(2):379396.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hamilton, Lawrence C. 2010. ‘Education, Politics, and Opinions About Climate Change Evidence for Interactions Effects’. Climatic Change 104(2):231242.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Heider, Fritz. 1958. The Psychology of Interpersonal Relations. Hillsdale, NJ: Wiley.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Jerit, Jennifer, and Barabas, Jason. 2012. ‘Partisan Perceptual Bias and the Information Environment’. Journal of Politics 74:672684.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kam, Cindy D. 2005. ‘Who Toes the Party Line? Cues, Values, and Individual Differences’. Political Behavior 27(2):163182.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Krosnick, Jon A. 1990. ‘Americans’ Perceptions of Presidential Candidates: A Test of the Projection Hypothesis’. Journal of Social Issues 46(2):159182.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Krosnick, Jon A. 2002. ‘The Challenges of Political Psychology: Lessons to Be Learned from Research on Attitude Perception’. In James H. Kuklinski (ed.), Thinking About Political Psychology, 115152. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kuklinski, James H., Quirk, Paul J., Jerit, Jennifer, Schwider, David, and Rich, Robert F.. 2000. ‘Misinformation and the Currency of Democratic Citizenship’. Journal of Politics 62(3):790816.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kull, Steven, Ramsey, Clay, and Lewis, Evan. 2003. ‘Misperceptions, the Media, and the Iraq War’. Political Science Quarterly 118(4):569598.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kunda, Ziva. 1987. ‘Motivated Inference: Self-Serving Generation and Evaluation of Causal Theories’. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 53(4):636647.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lauderdale, Benjamin E. 2010. ‘Political Inference When Information is Scarce’. PhD Thesis, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ.Google Scholar
Lenz, Gabriel S. 2012. Follow the Leader?: How Voters Respond to Politicians’ Policies and Performance. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
McCarty, Nolan, Poole, Keith T., and Rosenthal, Howard. 2006. Polarized America: The Dance of Ideology and Unequal Riches. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
Mutz, Diana C. 2011. Population-Based Survey Experiments. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Nicholson, Stephan P. 2012. ‘Polarizing Cues’. American Journal of Political Science 56(1):5266.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Nyhan, Brendan, and Reifler, Jason. 2010. ‘When Corrections Fail: The Persistence of Political Misperceptions’. Political Behavior 32(2):303330.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Nyhan, Brendan, Reifler, Jason, and Ubel, Peter A.. 2013. ‘The Hazards of Correcting Myths About Health Care Reform’. Medical Care 51(2):127132.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Osgood, Charles H., and Tannenbaum, Percy H.. 1955. ‘The Principle of Congruity in Prediction of Attitude Change’. Psychological Review 62:4255.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Prasad, Monica, Perrin, Andrew J., Bezila, Kieran, Hoffman, Steve G., Kindleberger, Kate, Manturuk, Kim, and Powers, Ashleigh Smith. 2009. ‘“There Must be a Reason”: Osama, Saddam, and Inferred Justification’. Sociological Inquiry 79(2):142162.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Prior, Markus. 2007. Post-Broadcast Democracy: How Media Choice Increases Inequality in Political Involvement and Polarizes Elections. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Taber, Charles, and Lodge, Milton. 2006. ‘Motivated Skepticism in the Evaluation of Political Beliefs’. American Journal of Political Science 50(3):755769.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Tourangeau, Roger, Rips, Lance J., and Rasinski, Kenneth. 2000. The Psychology of Survey Response. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Wilson, J. Matthew, and Gronke, Paul. 2000. ‘Concordance and Projection in Citizen Perceptions of Congressional Roll-Call Voting’. Legislative Studies Quarterly 25(3):445467.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Zaller, John R. 1992. The Nature and Origins of Mass Opinion. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Lauderdale supplementary material

Appendix

PDF 362 KB

Lauderdale Dataset

Link

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Full text views reflects PDF downloads, PDFs sent to Google Drive, Dropbox and Kindle and HTML full text views.

Total number of HTML views: 33
Total number of PDF views: 234 *
View data table for this chart

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 10th April 2021. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Send article to Kindle

To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Partisan Disagreements Arising from Rationalization of Common Information*
Available formats
×

Send article to Dropbox

To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

Partisan Disagreements Arising from Rationalization of Common Information*
Available formats
×

Send article to Google Drive

To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

Partisan Disagreements Arising from Rationalization of Common Information*
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response


Your details


Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *