Elements of Reason: Cognition, Choice, and the Bounds of Rationality

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Many social scientists want to explain why people do what they do. A barrier to constructing such explanations used to be a lack of information on the relationship between cognition and choice. Now, recent advances in cognitive science, economics, political science, and psychology have clarified this relationship. In Elements of Reason, scholars from across the social sciences use these advances to uncover the cognitive foundations of social decision making. They answer tough questions about how people see and process information and provide new explanations of how basic human needs, the environment, and past experiences combine to affect human choices.

Arthur Lupia, Mathew D. McCubbins, Samuel L. Popkin, Arthur T Denzau, Douglass C. North, Paul Sniderman, Norman Frohlich, Joe Oppenheimer, Shanto Iyengar, Nicholas A. Valentino, Wendy M. Rahn, James H. Kuklinski, Paul J. Quirk, Milton Lodge, Charles Taber, Michael A. Dimock, Philip E. Tetlock, Mark Turner

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Editorial Reviews

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"...a remarkable book, both for its instructional value and the insight it offers into one of the most important problems in the social sciences." American Political Science Review
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Product Details

Table of Contents

List of Tables and Figures
List of Contributors
1 Beyond Rationality: Reason and the Study of Politics 1
2 Shared Mental Models: Ideologies and Institutions 23
3 The Institutional Foundations of Political Competence: How Citizens Learn What They Need to Know 47
4 Taking Sides: A Fixed Choice Theory of Political Reasoning 67
5 How People Reason about Ethics 85
6 Who Says What? Source Credibility as a Mediator of Campaign Advertising 108
7 Affect as Information: The Role of Public Mood in Political Reasoning 130
8 Reconsidering the Rational Public: Cognition, Heuristics, and Mass Opinion 153
9 Three Steps toward a Theory of Motivated Political Reasoning 183
10 Knowledge, Trust, and International Reasoning 214
11 Coping with Trade-Offs: Psychological Constraints and Political Implications 239
12 Backstage Cognition in Reason and Choice 264
13 Constructing a Theory of Reasoning: Choice, Constraints, and Context 287
References 291
Author Index 323
Subject Index 329
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