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Information, accountability, and political preferences

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TitleInfo
Title
Information, accountability, and political preferences
Name (type = personal)
NamePart (type = family)
Pierce
NamePart (type = given)
Douglas R.
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Douglas R. Pierce
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author
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NamePart (type = family)
Lau
NamePart (type = given)
Richard R
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Richard R Lau
Affiliation
Advisory Committee
Role
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chair
Name (type = personal)
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Redlawsk
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David P
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David P Redlawsk
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Advisory Committee
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internal member
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Zucco
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Cesar
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Cesar Zucco
Affiliation
Advisory Committee
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internal member
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Delli Carpini
NamePart (type = given)
Michael
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Michael Delli Carpini
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Advisory Committee
Role
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outside member
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Rutgers University
Role
RoleTerm (authority = RULIB)
degree grantor
Name (type = corporate)
NamePart
Graduate School - New Brunswick
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school
TypeOfResource
Text
Genre (authority = marcgt)
theses
OriginInfo
DateCreated (encoding = w3cdtf); (qualifier = exact)
2015
DateOther (qualifier = exact); (type = degree)
2015-01
CopyrightDate (encoding = w3cdtf); (qualifier = exact)
2015
Place
PlaceTerm (type = code)
xx
Language
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eng
Abstract (type = abstract)
Political scientists have long endorsed a theory of preference formation based on a model of political expertise. According to this line of thinking, optimal political preferences result from reason, logic, and the appraisal of factual evidence. Accordingly, politically sophisticated citizens are assumed to develop political preferences that are more rational, less biased, and more correct than those of the less informed members of the electorate. In this project, I challenge this orthodox view. I argue that most political preferences are rooted in the personality traits, values, and cultural worldviews of people and are formed on the basis of affective reactions to stimuli rather than through the reasoned consideration of information. The affective nature of political judgments implies that information serves primarily to rationalize rather than form opinions. Since political preferences are an important signifier of group and individual identity, I posit that the social need to be accountable for one's opinions is a major explanatory factor in the development of political expertise. I develop a conceptualization of political preferences as affective judgments situated in social reality and hypothesize that political information acquisition serves an important social function. Based on this conceptualization, I contend that what separates political experts from non-experts is not the degree of information used to form a preference, but rather the nature of the social incentives that motivate certain individuals to seek information in order to defend, rationalize, and justify their preferences. I present data from the National Election Surveys and two original experiments to support my claims that increasing the amount of information a subject possesses about politics does not necessarily change their preferences and that the social expectation of accountability significantly influences the way subjects process information about political candidates.
Subject (authority = RUETD)
Topic
Political Science
Subject (authority = ETD-LCSH)
Topic
Mass media--Political aspects
Subject (authority = ETD-LCSH)
Topic
Voting
Subject (authority = ETD-LCSH)
Topic
Communication in politics
RelatedItem (type = host)
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Title
Rutgers University Electronic Theses and Dissertations
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ETD
Identifier
ETD_6167
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electronic resource
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application/pdf
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text/xml
Extent
1 online resource (xv, 264 p. : ill.)
Note (type = degree)
Ph.D.
Note (type = bibliography)
Includes bibliographical references
Note (type = statement of responsibility)
by Douglas R. Pierce
RelatedItem (type = host)
TitleInfo
Title
Graduate School - New Brunswick Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Identifier (type = local)
rucore19991600001
Location
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NjNbRU
Identifier (type = doi)
doi:10.7282/T3W66NGN
Genre (authority = ExL-Esploro)
ETD doctoral
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Rights

RightsDeclaration (ID = rulibRdec0006)
The author owns the copyright to this work.
RightsHolder (type = personal)
Name
FamilyName
Pierce
GivenName
Douglas
MiddleName
R.
Role
Copyright Holder
RightsEvent
Type
Permission or license
DateTime (encoding = w3cdtf); (qualifier = exact); (point = start)
2015-01-06 12:47:46
AssociatedEntity
Name
Douglas Pierce
Role
Copyright holder
Affiliation
Rutgers University. Graduate School - New Brunswick
AssociatedObject
Type
License
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Author Agreement License
Detail
I hereby grant to the Rutgers University Libraries and to my school the non-exclusive right to archive, reproduce and distribute my thesis or dissertation, in whole or in part, and/or my abstract, in whole or in part, in and from an electronic format, subject to the release date subsequently stipulated in this submittal form and approved by my school. I represent and stipulate that the thesis or dissertation and its abstract are my original work, that they do not infringe or violate any rights of others, and that I make these grants as the sole owner of the rights to my thesis or dissertation and its abstract. I represent that I have obtained written permissions, when necessary, from the owner(s) of each third party copyrighted matter to be included in my thesis or dissertation and will supply copies of such upon request by my school. I acknowledge that RU ETD and my school will not distribute my thesis or dissertation or its abstract if, in their reasonable judgment, they believe all such rights have not been secured. I acknowledge that I retain ownership rights to the copyright of my work. I also retain the right to use all or part of this thesis or dissertation in future works, such as articles or books.
Copyright
Status
Copyright protected
Availability
Status
Open
Reason
Permission or license
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Technical

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ETD
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windows xp
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