Most Americans lack any substantial degree of ideological sophistication (Kinder 1998), yet they often manage to express coherent views across a range of issues. The conventional explanation for this is that people rely on judgmental shortcuts (e.g., Sniderman, Brody, and Tetlock 1991). These “heuristics” permit individuals with sufficient political sophistication to sort and filter incoming messages to form relatively consistent views that align with preexisting values (Zaller 1992).
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