Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Altering the Foundations of Support for the President Through Priming

  • Jon A. Krosnick (a1) and Donald R. Kinder (a2)

Abstract

The disclosure that high officials within the Reagan administration had covertly diverted to the Nicaraguan Contras funds obtained from the secret sale of weapons to Iran provides us with a splendid opportunity to examine how the foundations of popular support shift when dramatic events occur. According to our theory of priming, the more attention media pay to a particular domain—the more the public is primed with it—the more citizens will incorporate what they know about that domain into their overall judgment of the president. Data from the 1986 National Election Study confirm that intervention in Central America loomed larger in the public's assessment of President Reagan's performance after the Iran-Contra disclosure than before. Priming was most pronounced for aspects of public opinion most directly implicated by the news coverage, more apparent in political notices' judgments than political experts', and stronger in the evaluations of Reagan's overall performance than in assessments of his character.

Copyright

References

Hide All
Fiorina, Morris. 1981. Retrospective Voting in American National Elections. New Haven: Yale University Press.
Fischhoff, Baruch, Slovic, Paul, and Lichtenstein, Sarah. 1980. “Knowing What You Want: Measuring Labile Values.” In Cognitive Processes in Choice and Decision Behavior, ed. Wallsten, Thomas. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.
Fiske, Susan T., and Kinder, Donald R.. 1981. “Involvement, Expertise, and Schema Use: Evidence from Political Cognition.” In Personality, Cognition, and Social Interaction, ed. Cantor, Nancy and Kihlstrom, John. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.
Fiske, Susan T., Kinder, Donald R., and Larter, W. Michael. 1983. “The Novice and the Expert: Knowledge-based Strategies in Political Cognition.” Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 19: 381400.
Hibbs, Douglas A. Jr., Rivers, Douglas, and Vasilatos, Nicholas. 1982a. “On the Demand for Economic Outcomes: Macroeconomic Performance and Mass Political Support in the United States, Great Britain, and Germany.” Journal of Politics 44: 426–62.
Hibbs, Douglas A. Jr., Rivers, Douglas, and Vasilatos, Nicholas. 1982b. “The Dynamics of Political Support for American Presidents among Occupational and Partisan Groups.” American Journal of Political Science 26: 312–32.
Higgins, E. Tory, and King, Gary. 1981. “Accessibility of Social Constructs: Information-processing Consequences of Individual and Contextual Variability.” In Personality, Cognition, and Social Interactions, ed. Cantor, Nancy and Kihlstrom, John. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.
Iyengar, Shanto, and Kinder, Donald R.. 1987. News That Matters. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Iyengar, Shanto, Peters, Mark D., Kinder, Donald R., and Krosnick, Jon A.. 1984. “The Evening News and Presidential Evaluations.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 46: 778–87.
Iyengar, Shanto, Peters, Mark D., and Kinder, Donald R.. 1982. “Experimental Demonstrations of the Not-So-Minimal Political Consequences of Mass Media.” American Political Science Review 76: 848–58.
Kahneman, Daniel, Slovic, Paul, and Tversky, Amos. 1982. Judgment under Uncertainty: Heuristics and Biases. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Kernell, Samuel. 1978. “Explaining Presidential Popularity.” American Political Science Review 72: 506–22.
Kernell, Samuel. 1986. Going Public. Washington: Congressional Quarterly.
Kinder, Donald R., Adams, Gordon S., and Gronke, Paul W.. 1989. “Economics and Politics in the 1984 American Presidential Election.” American Journal of Political Science 33: 491515.
Kinder, Donald R., and Thomas, R. Palfrey. 1989. “On Behalf of Experimentation.” University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Typescript.
Kinder, Donald R., and Sears, David O.. 1985. “Public Opinion and Political Behavior.” In Handbook of Social Psychology, 3d ed., Vol. 2, ed., Lindzey, Gardner and Aronson, Elliot. New York: Random House.
MacKuen, Michael. 1983. “Political Drama, Economic Conditions, and the Dynamics of Presidential Popularity.” American Journal of Political Science 27: 165–92.
Nuestadt, Richard E. 1960. Presidential Power; The Politics of Leadership. New York: Wiley.
Ostrom, Charles W., and Simon, Dennis M.. 1985. “Promise and Performance: A Dynamic Model of Presidential Popularity.” American Political Science Review 79: 334–58.
Rivers, Douglas, and Rose, Nancy L.. 1985. “Passing the President's Program: Public Opinion and Presidential Influence in Congress.” American Journal of Political Science 29: 183–96.
Rosenstone, Steven J. 1983. Forecasting Presidential Elections. New Haven: Yale University Press.
Taylor, Shelley E. 1982. “The Availability Bias in Social Perception and Interaction.” In Judgment under Uncertainty: Heuristics and Biases, ed. Kahneman, Daniel, Slovic, Paul, and Tversky, Amos. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Tversky, Amos, and Kahneman, Daniel. 1981. “The Framing of Decisions and the Psychology of Choice.” Science 211: 453–58.
Zaller, John. N.d. “Political Awareness, Elite Opinion Leadership, and the Mass Survey Response.” Social Cognition. Forthcoming.

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed