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Title:The context of cognition and models of voter choice
Author(s):Riggle, Ellen D.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Krassa, Michael A.
Department / Program:Political Science
Discipline:Political Science
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Psychology, Social
Political Science, General
Abstract:Previous voting behavior research has assumed that there is one correct model of voting behavior with a set hierarchy of factor contributions. This research departs and assumes that the relative importance of a candidate's party, issue stands, ideology, and image may depend on the context in which the decision process occurs. The context of the decision process is affected by the characteristics of the available information, the judgment task to be performed, and the individual making the decision. How these conditions affect the importance of party, issue stands and ideology, and image is tested through a series of 5 experiments. The effect of these conditions on the more general processes of attribute-based versus category-based processing of information is also explored.
The experiments manipulated the issue information given about a candidate and the number of candidates to be judged. The findings confirm that different decision making strategies are used by subjects under different judgment conditions. The choice of an attribute or category based processing strategy in turn affects the relative influence of party, issues, ideology, and image. The major implication for research in social psychology is the finding that complexity plays an important role in the choice between category and attribute oriented processing strategies. The major implications for political scientists are two-fold. First, there is not one correct model of voting behavior. Second the use of party and image factors, and non-use of issue information in voting decisions may not be the result of a conscious choice, or apathy, but may be the result of judgment context factors.
Issue Date:1990
Rights Information:Copyright 1990 Riggle, Ellen D.
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9026302
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9026302

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