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Rahn_et_al_notes_vcruz - Rahn Wendy et al"A...

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Rahn, Wendy et al. “A Social-Cognitive Model of Candidate Appraisal” Information and Democratic Processes (1990). Puzzle: Political scientists have not provided theoretical or rigorous empirical analyses of the role of candidates and their images in electoral choice. Given the abundance of political information and the simple choice between one or another candidate, people come to relatively similar assessment and decisional processes for most individuals (regardless of their educational background or interest). Candidate appraisal/image is important to understand because it may what drives voters’ decisions. All in all, the decision-making process for presidential elections is comparative, thus a comparative model outperforms models based on separate assessments of the individual candidates. Political information provided is repetitive and in the form of simple political cues, thus political expertise is unimportant when making one’s candidate appraisal. Overall: Model of Candidate Appraisal The formation of candidate images is a relatively easy task based on assumptions of cognitive economy o Correct – process similar to how impressions are made of people encountered everyday o Incorrect – process all the information available in a new setting
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