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Motivated Responses to Political Communications: Framing, Party Cues, and Science Information (WP-16-14)

James Druckman, Thomas Leeper, and Rune Slothuus

Among numerous foundational contributions, the work of renowned political scientist Milton Lodge is notable for its artful adaptation of theories of psychological processing to political contexts. Lodge recognized the uniqueness of politics as a context for information processing, exploring situations which are defined, in part, by a) low information and thus situations where information acquisition occurs, b) contested informational claims, and c) over-time dynamics. This is true of his work on schemas, on-line processing, and motivated reasoning. The researchers focus on the last of these by studying applications of motivated thinking in three domains: competitive framing, partisan competition, and science opinion formation. They reveal how informative Lodge’s work in these areas has been and elaborate his findings to highlight the conditionality of political motivated reasoning in each domain.

James Druckman, Payson S. Wild Professor of Political Science and IPR Fellow, Northwestern University

Thomas Leeper, Assistant Professor in Political Behavior, London School of Economics

Rune Slothuus, Professor of Political Science, Aarhus University

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