Have definitively shown that partisanship causes

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) have definitively shown that partisanship causes certainbehaviors. A fuller theory clearly will involve considering the relative impact ofindividual level variables (e.g., we did not find effects for sophistication), context,and source. We believe the motivation driving opinion formation clearly mattersand this has been a topic lacking in study.It may be that political scientists instead focusing on the content or basis ofopinions (e.g., how much knowledge, ideological constraint), may be best offlooking at motivation. For example, issue publics may be motivated on some issuesTable 4Perceived importanceof the 2007 Energy ActEntries are ordered probitcoefficients with standard errorsin parentheses*p\.1; **p\.05;***p\.01 (one-tailed tests)ConditionCoefficient (standard error)No endorse./no motiv. (1).06 (.17)No endorse./directional (2).22 (.17)Same party/no motiv. (4).26 (.17)*Same party/directional (5).26 (.17)*Same party/accuracy (6).30 (.18)*Diff. party/no motiv. (7).42 (.17)***Diff. party/directional (8).34 (.17)**Diff. party/accuracy (9)-.15 (.17)Consensus/no motiv. (10).41 (.18)***Consensus/directional (11).39 (.17)***Consensus/accuracy (12).22 (.17)Cross-party/no motiv. (13).16 (.17)Cross-party/directional (14)-.15 (.17)Cross-party/accuracy (15)-.01 (.18)Log-likelihood/N-1764.52/1,070252Polit Behav (2014) 36:235–262123
and not others (e.g., Bolsen and Leeper n.d.). Another primary source of promptingaccuracy motivation may be the social context (e.g., Sinclair2012). Indeed, if oneanticipates having to explain and justify oneself (akin to the manipulation weemployed) in a social setting, it may generate an accuracy motivation. But this iswhere things can get complicated. If that social group is a mixed group, then it maybe akin to our accuracy motivation that focused largely on generating a focus onsubstance. However, if that group is comprised of all in-party strong partisans, anaccuracy motivation may lose out to a directional motivation (e.g., Druckman et al.2013). The role of groups and their relationship to motivation in the opinionformation process seems like an area ripe for future work.16More generally,unpacking motivation requires a mix of a consideration of material incentives (e.g.,Prior and Lupia2008; Bullock et al.2013) in addition to social ones, as well as thepotential for hybrid goals and alternative goals besides accuracy and directional.Finally, there are several intriguing/vexing normative implications of partisanmotivated reasoning. There is a lack of consensus among scholars as to whatconstitutes a normatively appealing opinion (see Druckman2012). Our results willbe troubling for people who worry that partisan motivated reasoning leads to lowerquality opinions due to dogmatism and inflexibility (e.g., Lavine et al.2012).However one could also make the case that relying on one’s partisanship (e.g., apartisan directional goal) in the face of limited policy information is ‘‘smarter’’ thantrying to assess the policy’s content oneself (see Druckman et al.2012for furtherdiscussion). The bottom line is that our results only further highlight the lack ofconsensus on what a quality opinion is and the need for a much more detailed

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Term
Fall
Professor
N/A
Tags
Energy Policy, Test, The American, Partisan, Polit Behav

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