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Selective attention and the information environment: citizens’ perceptions of political problems in the 2015 swiss federal election campaign


Wüest, Bruno (2018). Selective attention and the information environment: citizens’ perceptions of political problems in the 2015 swiss federal election campaign. Swiss Political Science Review = Schweizerische Zeitschrift für Politikwissenschaft, 24(4):464-486.

Abstract

In the course of election campaigns, voters pay only selectively attention to particular aspects of political problems. Such selective attention is necessary because the costs of becoming competent on many political problems are great. Normatively, however, such selective attention is not desirable because it lowers the chance that voters will reach well‐balanced and competent decisions. This contribution establishes the aspects of the four most salient problems from the 2015 Swiss federal election campaign: immigration, welfare, the economy and European integration. It further reveals that selective attention is higher among those who are interested in politics and who learn problem‐specific information on salient problems, and lower among those who are well‐educated, who engage in personal discussions, who use traditional media, and who learn problem‐specific information on less salient problems. Finally, it concludes that selective attention should be avoided in order to strengthen the citizens’ level of information on political problems.

Abstract

In the course of election campaigns, voters pay only selectively attention to particular aspects of political problems. Such selective attention is necessary because the costs of becoming competent on many political problems are great. Normatively, however, such selective attention is not desirable because it lowers the chance that voters will reach well‐balanced and competent decisions. This contribution establishes the aspects of the four most salient problems from the 2015 Swiss federal election campaign: immigration, welfare, the economy and European integration. It further reveals that selective attention is higher among those who are interested in politics and who learn problem‐specific information on salient problems, and lower among those who are well‐educated, who engage in personal discussions, who use traditional media, and who learn problem‐specific information on less salient problems. Finally, it concludes that selective attention should be avoided in order to strengthen the citizens’ level of information on political problems.

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Additional indexing

Other titles:Same issues, different attitudes: motivated reasoning in the Swiss federal election campaign 2015
Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Political Science
Dewey Decimal Classification:320 Political science
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Political Science and International Relations
Uncontrolled Keywords:political science and international relations
Language:English
Date:December 2018
Deposited On:12 Dec 2018 13:40
Last Modified:01 Dec 2020 01:03
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.
ISSN:1424-7755
OA Status:Green
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1111/spsr.12325

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