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Value Choices and American Public Opinion
William G. Jacoby
American Journal of Political Science
Vol. 50, No. 3 (Jul., 2006), pp. 706-723
Published by: Midwest Political Science Association
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3694244
Page Count: 18
You can always find the topics here!Topics: Economic value, Government spending, Economic security, Political attitudes, Ambivalence, Social order, Public opinion, Political science, Error rates, Political psychology
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Individual preferences among core values are widely believed to be an important determinant of political attitudes. However, several theoretical perspectives suggest that people experience difficulties making choices among values. This article uses data from the 1994 Multi-Investigator Study to test for hierarchical structure in citizens' value preferences. The empirical results show that most people make transitive choices among values and that their value preferences have an impact on subsequent issue attitudes. To the extent that citizens exhibit intransitive value choices and/or apparent difficulties in the "translation process" from value preferences to issue attitudes, it is due more to low levels of political sophistication than to the existence of value conflict.
American Journal of Political Science © 2006 Midwest Political Science Association