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Political Sophistication and the Use of Candidate Traits in Candidate Evaluation

Patrick A. Pierce
Political Psychology
Vol. 14, No. 1 (Mar., 1993), pp. 21-35
DOI: 10.2307/3791391
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3791391
Page Count: 15
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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.
Political Sophistication and the Use of Candidate Traits in Candidate Evaluation
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Abstract

Most research on voting behavior has attempted to explain how individuals, in general, determine their candidate preference. Recently, however, some scholars have concluded that we must recognize that different individuals make these evaluations differently. Knight (1985) found that political sophistication affected the extent to which individuals rely on issues and ideology when evaluating presidential candidates. This paper finds that political sophistication has little systematic impact on the relative use of candidate's personal traits in evaluating the candidates. The results provide some evidence that the extent to which voters engage in rationalization involving candidate personal traits and issue positions is related to political sophistication.

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