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Partisan Disagreements Arising from Rationalization of Common Information

Lauderdale, BE; (2016) Partisan Disagreements Arising from Rationalization of Common Information. Political Science Research and Methods , 4 (3) pp. 477-492. 10.1017/psrm.2015.51. Green open access

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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 towards 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: Article
Title: Partisan Disagreements Arising from Rationalization of Common Information
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1017/psrm.2015.51
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1017/psrm.2015.51
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Political Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10079494
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