- Copyright Page
- Rational Choice and Politics: An Introduction to the Research Program and Methodology of Public Choice
- Choosing among Governments
- Public Choice: Early Contributions
- From Paired Comparisons and Cycles to Arrow’s Theorem
- Institution-Induced Stability
- Voting Power
- Aggregation of Information by Binary Voting Rules
- Political Choices in One Dimension: Theory
- Political Choices in One Dimension: Applications
- Spatial Voting Models of Party Competition in Two Dimensions
- Spatial Social Choice
- Economic Voting
- Valence Politics
- The Study of Strategic Voting
- Turnout: Why Do Voters Vote?
- Expressive Voting
- Altruism and Political Participation
- Social Embeddedness and Rational Turnout
- Information Cues and Rational Ignorance
- Campaign Finance
- Primaries, Conventions, and Other Methods for Nominating Candidates: How Do They Matter?
- Logrolling and Coalitions
- Collective Action
- Rent Seeking: The Social Cost of Contestable Benefits
- The Structure of Contests and the Extent of Dissipation
- The Political Economy of Rent Creation and Rent Extraction
- Empirical Evidence on Rent-Seeking Costs
- “The Bureaucracy” as an Interest Group
- Interest Groups and Regulatory Capture
- The Political Economy of Trust
- Contested Political Persuasion
- Stochastic Process Models of Preference Change
- Leadership as Persuasion
- Fairness Concepts
- Social Contract versus Invisible Hand: Agreeing to Solve Social Dilemmas
- Utilitarianism as a Criterion for State Action
- Public Choice and Happiness
- Kantianism and Political Institutions
- Public Choice and Libertarianism
- Public Choice and Social Democracy
- Supreme Values, Totalitarianism, and Terrorism
- Fair Division in Dispute Resolution
- Fair Division in Allocating Cabinet Ministries
Abstract and Keywords
This chapter gives an informal summary of a research program aiming to develop and test stochastic process models of preference change. What does it take to develop a formally precise and descriptively valid model of persuasion? Any such model should specify formally concise definitions of hypothetical constructs such as preferences or attitudes. The chapter reviews weak order and semiorder models of preferences that are grounded in decision theory. Such a model should also spell out how hypothetical constructs relate to observable behavior, such as feeling thermometer ratings. The chapter reviews response processes that, in some cases, accommodate within and across respondent heterogeneity in overt behavior. The model should furthermore specify formally what it means to change one’s preference over time and how that change relates to the persuasive environment. The chapter treats preference change as a continuous time stochastic process on a graph of preference states. The most innovative feature of the approach is to model the (perceived) persuasive environment itself also as a hypothetical construct that is not directly/objectively observable by the researcher. Last but not least, the chapter discusses how to accommodate partisan differences, how to incorporate respondents with immutable preferences, and the possibility that respondents may tune in and out of a persuasive campaign. The emphasis of the chapter lies in explaining key conceptual ideas grounded in decision theory and mathematical psychology.
Michel Regenwetter is Professor of Psychology and Political Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Yung-Fong Hsu is Professor of Experimental and Cognitive Psychology at National Taiwan University.
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