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Lodge, M.

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Milton Lodge

Milton Lodge, born in New York City, New York, USA, in 1936. Ph.D. from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Distinguished Professsor of Political Science at Stony Brook University, New York.

Fellow (1 September 2003 - 31 January 2004)

BUILDING A DUAL-PROCESS MODEL OF POLITICAL BELIEFS AND ATTITUDES

What people think, feel, say, and do is a direct function of what information is momentarily accessible from memory - be it the recollection of facts, images, and feelings, remembrances of personal experiences, or the turning of goals into actions. In our study we lay out the rudiments for a dual process theory of motivated political reasoning which starts from the postulate that with the repeated association of thought and feeling, beliefs become affectively charged, affect motivates intentions, and plans direct belief-relevant behaviours. What is more with repeated co-activation the sequence of thoughts, feelings, and dispositions can come to mind automatically, that is, spontaneously, before any conscious, deliberative considerations enter the decision process. Given the immediate accessibility of affect, we posit and test in a computational model that many [if not all] associated political beliefs, preferences, and choices are invoked outside of awareness and their associated behaviours are carried out automatically, with little or no conscious monitoring. Given the immediacy of affect and its early entry into the decision stream, the most general expectation of this model is that citizens' deliberative responses will be biased by the automatic accessibility of their prior attitudes and that consequently citizens are first and foremost motivated reasoners.



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