J. Matthew Wilson
and Paul Gronke
Concordance and Projection in Citizen Perceptions of Congressional Roll-Call Voting
Legislative Studies Quarterly, XXV:445-467
Research on political cognition suggests that individuals absorb and retain more information consistent with their political predispositions than they do information at odds with those predispositions. When citizens view a member of Congress favorably, they should thus be more likely to recall that member’s vote on a bill if it is in agreement with their own positions; additionally, if they do not recall, they will tend to assume that the member voted in accordance with their own preferences. When citizens view a representative negatively, the opposite patterns should obtain. Here, we find considerable evidence for both of these effects—concordance and projection. Attitude toward the representative and agreement on the issue substantially drive citizen perceptions of congressional roll-call voting.
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