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On Hearing and Interpreting Political Messages: A Cautionary Tale of Citizen Cue-Taking

James H. Kuklinski and Norman L. Hurley
The Journal of Politics
Vol. 56, No. 3 (Aug., 1994), pp. 729-751
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2132190
Page Count: 23
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On Hearing and Interpreting Political Messages: A Cautionary Tale of Citizen Cue-Taking
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Abstract

Recent research documents the widespread use of heuristics, especially a reliance on elite cues among citizens. Scholars have celebrated this mode of decision making as rational and effective. Using experimental survey data collected from white and African-American respondents, we also identify what appears to be a strong influence of elite messages on mass political judgments, but only among our black respondents. More importantly, the data reveal some of the perils of cue-taking. Although rational, this heuristic may not always be effective.

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