Re-Assessing Elite-Public Gaps in Political Behavior

28Citations
Citations of this article
90Readers
Mendeley users who have this article in their library.
Get full text

Abstract

Political scientists often criticize psychological approaches to the study of politics on the grounds that many psychological theories were developed on convenience samples of college students or members of the mass public, whereas many of the most important decisions in politics are made by elites, who are presumed to differ systematically from ordinary citizens. This paper proposes an overarching framework for thinking about differences between elites and masses, presenting the results of a meta-analysis of 162 paired treatments from paired experiments on political elites and mass publics, as well as an analysis of 12 waves of historical elite and mass public opinion data on foreign policy issues over a 43 year period. It finds political scientists both overstate the magnitude of elite-public gaps in decision-making, and misunderstand the determinants of elite-public gaps in political attitudes, many of which are due to basic compositional differences rather than to elites' domain-specific expertise.

Cite

CITATION STYLE

APA

Kertzer, J. D. (2022). Re-Assessing Elite-Public Gaps in Political Behavior. American Journal of Political Science, 66(3), 539–553. https://doi.org/10.1111/ajps.12583

Register to see more suggestions

Mendeley helps you to discover research relevant for your work.

Already have an account?

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free