Following Shively, we propose a theory to explain why voters perceive or fail to perceive candidates' issue positions. The theory presumes that there is a continuum of methods that range from those that are very inexpensive in time, energy, and experience (e.g., guessing) to those that are moderately expensive (e.g., partisanship) to those that are rather costly (e.g., extensive use of the media). All these factors are shown to play a part in the formation of candidate perceptions, but with variations between candidates in ways specified by the theory.
KeywordsPolitical Psychology Issue Position Candidate Perception
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