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Analyzing Misinformation: Perceptions of Congressional Candidates' Ideologies

Lynda W. Powell
American Journal of Political Science
Vol. 33, No. 1 (Feb., 1989), pp. 272-293
DOI: 10.2307/2111263
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2111263
Page Count: 22
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Analyzing Misinformation: Perceptions of Congressional Candidates' Ideologies
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Abstract

This analysis examines the errors in respondent's candidates' positions as measured by the American National Election Study seven-point ideological scales. A methodology is developed that partitions the error into two types. One type is strongly correlated with political sophistication and thus consists of error largely attributable to the respondent; the remainder roughly corresponds to measurement error in the instrument. These results extend and contribute to the debate between Converse, Achen, and Erikson on the nature of error in respondent self-placements on the seven-point ideological and issue scales. The technique developed here can be used to measure the effect of contextual and individual respondent characteristics on the accuracy of individual's perceptions of candidates' ideologies.

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