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date: 26 January 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter reviews research from public opinion, political behavior, and political psychology that seeks to answer the question: Does how people think about politics influence what they think? This chapter takes particular interest in the individual-level psychological processes that give rise to particular political opinions. Its emphasis on the cognitive psychology of opinion formation distinguishes its approach from social-process models of ideological thinking and from more traditional class-based or self-interest models. Recent research on the processes that stand behind political behavior has made an important distinction between automatic and controlled thought, and this dual-process approach helps guide the chapter.

Keywords: cognition, information processing, public opinion, automaticity, control

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