Knowledge distortion in direct democracy: A longitudinal study of biased empirical beliefs on statewide ballot measures

John Gastil, Justin Reedy, Chris Wells

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study extends a model of political knowledge distortion by tracing the influence of cultural orientations, information exposure, and prior beliefs on changes in knowledge distortion and issue attitudes during the 2010 Oregon general election. Results show strong associations between voters’ cultural orientations and their knowledge distortion in the first survey wave and over time. As hypothesized, orientations had stronger effects on the issues that showed greater cultural divergence. Self-reported exposure to issue-relevant information during the campaign, however, had no direct or interactive effects on voters’ changing factual beliefs. Changes in issue attitudes were associated with voters’ changing factual beliefs and their orientations, with the level of cultural divergence having no consistent influence on the strength of those associations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)540-560
Number of pages21
JournalInternational Journal of Public Opinion Research
Volume30
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science

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