Authors
Abstract
We propose a model of motivated skepticism that helps explain when and why citizens are biased information processors. Two experimental studies explore how citizens evaluate arguments about affirmative action and gun control, finding strong evidence of a prior attitude effect such that attitudinally congruent arguments are evaluated as stronger than attitudinally incongruent arguments. When reading pro and con arguments, participants (Ps) counterargue the contrary arguments and uncritically accept supporting arguments, evidence of a disconfirmation bias. We also find a confirmation bias?the seeking out of confirmatory evidence?when Ps are free to self-select the source of the arguments they read. Both the confirmation and disconfirmation biases lead to attitude polarization?the strengthening of t2 over t1 attitudes?especially among those with the strongest priors and highest levels of political sophistication. We conclude with a discussion of the normative implications of these findings for rational behavior in a democracy
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1080/08913811.2012.711019
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 69,043
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Rationality and Reasoning.Jonathan St B. T. Evans, David E. Over & Peter Carruthers - 1998 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 49 (1):189-194.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Why Do Humans Reason? Arguments for an Argumentative Theory.Dan Sperber - 2011 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 34 (2):57.
Illegitimate Values, Confirmation Bias, and Mandevillian Cognition in Science.Uwe Peters - 2021 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 72 (4):1061-1081.
Irrelevant Cultural Influences on Belief.Robin McKenna - 2019 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 36 (5):755-768.

View all 39 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Analytics

Added to PP index
2013-10-30

Total views
20 ( #554,839 of 2,498,577 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #426,098 of 2,498,577 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes