Chapter

The Availability of Policy Principles

Paul Goren

in On Voter Competence

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780195396140
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199979301 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195396140.003.0005

Series: Series in Political Psychology

The Availability of Policy Principles

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This chapter examines whether evaluations of the principles of limited government, traditional morality, and military strength are present in the belief systems of cognitively heterogeneous populations. It begins by summarizing prior work on attitude availability and then lays out the approach taken here. Next, a series of measurement models, uncorrected and corrected continuity correlations, and opinion holding rates across sophistication stratified samples are examined to see if everyone holds basic policy principles. Collectively, the results demonstrate that policy principles are bedrock dispositions in the minds of all citizens, but somewhat more crystallized for the highly aware. The results imply that citizens at various levels of knowledge satisfy the availability condition of policy voting.

Keywords: attitude availability; crystallization; measurement models; attitude stability; opinion holding

Chapter.  12202 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Social Psychology

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