Gilens_Notes_vc - Gilens, Martin. "Political Ignorance...

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Gilens, Martin. “Political Ignorance and Collective Policy Preferences” (2001) Summary: What shapes our public policy preferences? Based on democratic theory, it’s important to know this! General political knowledge is not the only thing that matters when it comes to the public’s political judgments/preferences. Author asks what effect policy- specific information and ignorance have on the political preferences of respondents. Focuses on people’s knowledge about unemployment, government spending, environment, foreign aid, and crime. -unique because he uses experimental and non-experimental techniques to find the same results. Gilens is very much in favor of Americans possessing more fully informed policy-specific concepts to inform their political preferences. As of yet, he feels that those who lack policy-specific information risk having their political judgments very vulnerable to new policy-specific information when this issue is presented. The significance of policy- specific information varies based on perceived relevance, precise content of policy- specific info, and personal factors. Abstract: -policy-specific facts (i.e. change in the crime rate, amount of foreign aid, etc.) have a significant influence on the public’s political judgment -shows that ignorance of policy-specific information leads many American to hold political views different from those they would hold otherwise. -the effect of policy-specific ignorance is greatest for Americans with the highest levels of political knowledge. -this is not meant to dilute the influence of new info, but more so shed light on the fact that general knowledge facilitates the incorporation of new policy-specific information in political judgments. Background:
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This note was uploaded on 04/12/2010 for the course PS 686 taught by Professor Various during the Winter '10 term at University of Michigan.

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Gilens_Notes_vc - Gilens, Martin. "Political Ignorance...

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