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Bias Will Find a Way: Economic Perceptions, Attributions of Blame, and Partisan-Motivated Reasoning during Crisis
The Journal of Politics
Vol. 77, No. 3 (July 2015), pp. 849-860
Published by: The University of Chicago Press on behalf of the Southern Political Science Association
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/681591
Page Count: 12
You can always find the topics here!Topics: Political partisanship, Identifiers, Economic conditions, Economic crises, Blame, Economic recessions, Economics, Party identification, Labor economics, Macroeconomics
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Partisans often perceive real world conditions in a manner that credits their own party. Yet recent findings suggest that partisans are capable of setting their loyalties aside when confronted with clear evidence, for example, during an economic crisis. This study examines a different possibility. While partisans may acknowledge the same reality, they may find other ways of aligning undeniable realities with their party loyalties. Using monthly survey data collected before and after the unexpected collapse of the British national economy (2004–10), this study presents one key finding: As partisans came to agree that economic conditions had gotten much worse, they conversely polarized in whether they thought the government was responsible. While the most committed partisans were surprisingly apt in acknowledging the economic collapse, they were also the most eager to attribute responsibility selectively. For that substantial share of the electorate, partisan-motivated reasoning seems highly adaptive.
© 2015 by the Southern Political Science Association. All rights reserved.