Political Information Processing

Political information processing focuses on human thoughts, emotions, and behaviors as they relate to political communication. It evaluates messages and cognitive processes on the part of recipients and considers how governments, politicians, or administrators frame and construct media messages to influence the attitudes, beliefs, and opinions of voters. It focuses on the outcomes of such message frames as they relate to the construction of social reality. Thus, political information processing theory draws on social cognition research in an attempt to explain how and why political messages influence people in various ways.

Research on political attitude, belief, or opinion formation initially employed the stimulus-response (SR) approach to predict political behavior. The causal ingredients influencing voter decisions in the SR model include factors such as partisanship (e.g., party ...

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