Political Behavior

, Volume 3, Issue 4, pp 303–318 | Cite as

The dynamics of presidential support during international conflict situations: The Iranian hostage crisis

  • Lee Sigelman
  • Pamela Johnston Conover


Public opinion data concerning President Carter's handling of the Iranian hostage crisis are used to analyze (1) the factors that facilitate support for the President's handling of international conflict situations, and (2) the factors that influence the persistence of such support. Analysis reveals that support for the President's performance is enhanced if one holds a favorable personal image of the President, if one's own policy preferences are congruent with the President's actions, and if one belongs to the President's party. Over time, the impact of these factors grows, reflecting the fact that those who hold unfavorable images of the President, who disagree with the policies he is pursuing, and who belong to the opposition party fall out of the support coalition at an unusually high rate.


Public Opinion Policy Preference Conflict Situation International Conflict Political Psychology 
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Copyright information

© Agathon Press, Inc 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lee Sigelman
    • 1
  • Pamela Johnston Conover
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceUniversity of KentuckyUSA

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