A Computational Model of the Citizen as Motivated Reasoner: Modeling the Dynamics of the 2000 Presidential Election

A Computational Model of the Citizen as Motivated Reasoner: Modeling the Dynamics of the 2000... A computational model of political attitudes and beliefs is developed that incorporates contemporary psychological theory with well-documented findings from electoral behavior. We compare this model, John Q. Public (JQP), to a Bayesian learning model via computer simulations of observed changes in candidate evaluations over the 2000 presidential campaign. In these simulations, JQP reproduces responsiveness, persistence, and polarization of political attitudes, while the Bayesian learning model has difficulty accounting for persistence and polarization. We conclude that “motivated reasoning”—the discounting of information that challenges priors along with the uncritical acceptance of attitude-consistent information—is the reason our model can better account for persistence and polarization in candidate evaluations. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Political Behavior Springer Journals

A Computational Model of the Citizen as Motivated Reasoner: Modeling the Dynamics of the 2000 Presidential Election

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2009 by Springer Science+Business Media, LLC
Subject
Political Science and International Relations; Political Science; Sociology, general
ISSN
0190-9320
eISSN
1573-6687
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11109-009-9099-8
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

A computational model of political attitudes and beliefs is developed that incorporates contemporary psychological theory with well-documented findings from electoral behavior. We compare this model, John Q. Public (JQP), to a Bayesian learning model via computer simulations of observed changes in candidate evaluations over the 2000 presidential campaign. In these simulations, JQP reproduces responsiveness, persistence, and polarization of political attitudes, while the Bayesian learning model has difficulty accounting for persistence and polarization. We conclude that “motivated reasoning”—the discounting of information that challenges priors along with the uncritical acceptance of attitude-consistent information—is the reason our model can better account for persistence and polarization in candidate evaluations.

Journal

Political BehaviorSpringer Journals

Published: Oct 14, 2009

References

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