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date: 23 January 2022

Abstract and Keywords

In recent years, it has become increasingly difficult to understand current political controversies without appreciating the extent to which information processing is driven not merely by empirical evidence but also by ideological and other goals. This chapter reviews recent research on “hot” or motivated political cognition. The authors begin by summarizing historical developments in psychology and political science that set the stage for a “motivational turn” in theory and research. Next they turn their attention to three classes of relevant motives (or purposes), namely self-, group-, and system-serving motives. The authors then consider evidence bearing on the possibility that there are ideological asymmetries in motivated political reasoning. Finally, they conclude by suggesting not only that research on motivated social cognition may be useful for understanding political judgment and behavior but also that observing political judgment and behavior may provide new insights into social cognition.

Keywords: motivated reasoning, political cognition, ideology

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