Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
What are Campaigns For?The Role of Persuasion in Electoral Law and Politics$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

James A. Gardner

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195392616

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195392616.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 24 February 2020

Campaigns and the Stability of Political Opinion

Campaigns and the Stability of Political Opinion

Chapter:
(p.83) Three Campaigns and the Stability of Political Opinion
Source:
What are Campaigns For?
Author(s):

James A. Gardner

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195392616.003.0003

Could changes to the laws that regulate campaigns improve them? This chapter addresses this question by reviewing the social science literature on how people arrive at political opinions. This literature demonstrates dramatically that the actual persuasion of voters plays virtually no meaningful role in American election campaigns because it is next to impossible to persuade voters during an election campaign of anything they do not already believe. Several mutually reinforcing phenomena work to stabilize political beliefs and to insulate their holders against the possibility of short-term persuasion during campaigns. These phenomena include cognitive processes that bias voters' attention and comprehension in favor of beliefs they already hold; social reinforcement effects that, through processes of ordinary social interaction, tend to suppress and punish dissident viewpoints; and cognitive information-processing strategies that reduce voters' incentives to seek out and attend to campaign information, or to change their opinions in response to it.

Keywords:   campaigns, persuasion, cognitive bias, political opinion, social reinforcement, political information

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .