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Uncertainty and Political Perceptions

Alvarez, R. Michael and Franklin, Charles H. (1993) Uncertainty and Political Perceptions. Social Science Working Paper, 844. California Institute of Technology , Pasadena, CA. (Unpublished)

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The world of politics is uncertain. Citizens are only imperfectly informed about current governmental actions and about the promises of politicians regarding future courses of public policy. Politicians and candidates, moreover, often have incentives to disseminate ambiguous and perhaps inconsistent information. Previous work, both theoretical and empirical, has largely failed to incorporate this uncertainty into the analysis of public opinion and electoral behavior. In this paper we discuss measures designed to elicit the uncertainty survey respondents feel about their political perceptions. These measures demonstrate response patterns which are interpretable and substantively interesting. Also, the response patterns are consistent with a model relating uncertainty to citizen information costs. And last, these measures allow us to understand the stated perceptions of respondents in novel and important ways.

Item Type:Report or Paper (Working Paper)
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URLURL TypeDescription ItemPublished Version
Alvarez, R. Michael0000-0002-8113-4451
Additional Information:Previous versions of this paper were presented at the American Political Science Association Annual Meetings, Chicago, Illinois, September 1992, and the Ninth Political Methodology Conference, Harvard University, July 16-19, 1992. Vi1e thank Steve Ansolabehere, Stanley Feldman and Simon Jackman for their comments. We are especially indebted to the Letters and Science Survey Center of the University of Wisconsin, Madison, for support of our data collection. Published as Alvarez, R. Michael, and Charles H. Franklin. "Uncertainty and political perceptions." The Journal of Politics 56, no. 3 (1994): 671-688.
Group:Social Science Working Papers
Series Name:Social Science Working Paper
Issue or Number:844
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20170825-133724656
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:80794
Deposited By: Jacquelyn Bussone
Deposited On:28 Aug 2017 21:52
Last Modified:09 Mar 2020 13:18

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