Drawing on a multitude of data sets and building on analyses
carried out over more than a decade, Reasoning and Choice offers a
major new theoretical explanation of how ordinary citizens figure
out what they favor and oppose politically. Reacting against the
conventional wisdom, which stresses how little attention the
general public pays to political issues and the lack of consistency
in their political opinions, the studies presented in this book
redirect attention to the processes of reasoning that can be
discerned when people are confronted with choices about political
issues. These studies demonstrate that ordinary people are in fact
capable of reasoning dependably about political issues by the use
of judgmental heuristics, even if they have only a limited
knowledge of politics and of specific issues. An important point is
that both the well-educated and the less-educated use heuristics in
political reasoning, but that the well-educated tend to employ
different heuristics and take into account more factors in their
consideration of issues.
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