A unified theory of value-based reasoning and U.S. public opinion

Paul Goren, Harald Schoen, Jason Reifler, Thomas Scotto, William Chittick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Public opinion research shows that American citizens utilize domain-specific political values to guide opinion formation in the key issue areas that comprise the American political agenda. One set of political values operates on economic welfare opinions, a different set of values applies to cultural issue positions, a third set shapes foreign policy preferences, and so on in other policy domains. Drawing on Shalom Schwartz’s theory of basic human values, this paper argues that two socially focused values—self-transcendence and conservation—guide opinion formation across all major policy domains. By contrast, the personally focused values of self-enhancement and openness-to-change should play a more limited role in preference formation. These hypotheses are tested using data from a novel 2011 national survey and the 2012 General Social Survey. The statistical results affirm expectations. We show that self-transcendence and conservation values predict scores on symbolic ideology, economic conservatism, racial conservatism, cultural conservatism, civil liberties, and foreign policy opinions. Self-enhancement and openness-to-change values play a modest role in shaping preferences.
LanguageEnglish
Pages977-997
Number of pages21
JournalPolitical Behavior
Volume38
Issue number4
Early online date6 May 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 30 Dec 2016

Fingerprint

public opinion
conservatism
opinion formation
Values
transcendence
foreign policy
conservation
value change
welfare economics
opinion research
political agenda
ideology
citizen
economics

Keywords

  • basic human values
  • domain-specific issues
  • U.S. public opinion
  • political agenda
  • self transcendence
  • conservation

Cite this

Goren, Paul ; Schoen, Harald ; Reifler, Jason ; Scotto, Thomas ; Chittick, William. / A unified theory of value-based reasoning and U.S. public opinion. In: Political Behavior. 2016 ; Vol. 38, No. 4. pp. 977-997.
@article{7522d1e855ab42a4a2a9b270b2883aa7,
title = "A unified theory of value-based reasoning and U.S. public opinion",
abstract = "Public opinion research shows that American citizens utilize domain-specific political values to guide opinion formation in the key issue areas that comprise the American political agenda. One set of political values operates on economic welfare opinions, a different set of values applies to cultural issue positions, a third set shapes foreign policy preferences, and so on in other policy domains. Drawing on Shalom Schwartz’s theory of basic human values, this paper argues that two socially focused values—self-transcendence and conservation—guide opinion formation across all major policy domains. By contrast, the personally focused values of self-enhancement and openness-to-change should play a more limited role in preference formation. These hypotheses are tested using data from a novel 2011 national survey and the 2012 General Social Survey. The statistical results affirm expectations. We show that self-transcendence and conservation values predict scores on symbolic ideology, economic conservatism, racial conservatism, cultural conservatism, civil liberties, and foreign policy opinions. Self-enhancement and openness-to-change values play a modest role in shaping preferences.",
keywords = "basic human values, domain-specific issues, U.S. public opinion, political agenda, self transcendence, conservation",
author = "Paul Goren and Harald Schoen and Jason Reifler and Thomas Scotto and William Chittick",
note = "The final publication is available at Springer via http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11109-016-9344-x",
year = "2016",
month = "12",
day = "30",
doi = "10.1007/s11109-016-9344-x",
language = "English",
volume = "38",
pages = "977--997",
journal = "Political Behavior",
issn = "0190-9320",
number = "4",

}

A unified theory of value-based reasoning and U.S. public opinion. / Goren, Paul; Schoen, Harald; Reifler, Jason; Scotto, Thomas; Chittick, William.

In: Political Behavior, Vol. 38, No. 4, 30.12.2016, p. 977-997.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - A unified theory of value-based reasoning and U.S. public opinion

AU - Goren, Paul

AU - Schoen, Harald

AU - Reifler, Jason

AU - Scotto, Thomas

AU - Chittick, William

N1 - The final publication is available at Springer via http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11109-016-9344-x

PY - 2016/12/30

Y1 - 2016/12/30

N2 - Public opinion research shows that American citizens utilize domain-specific political values to guide opinion formation in the key issue areas that comprise the American political agenda. One set of political values operates on economic welfare opinions, a different set of values applies to cultural issue positions, a third set shapes foreign policy preferences, and so on in other policy domains. Drawing on Shalom Schwartz’s theory of basic human values, this paper argues that two socially focused values—self-transcendence and conservation—guide opinion formation across all major policy domains. By contrast, the personally focused values of self-enhancement and openness-to-change should play a more limited role in preference formation. These hypotheses are tested using data from a novel 2011 national survey and the 2012 General Social Survey. The statistical results affirm expectations. We show that self-transcendence and conservation values predict scores on symbolic ideology, economic conservatism, racial conservatism, cultural conservatism, civil liberties, and foreign policy opinions. Self-enhancement and openness-to-change values play a modest role in shaping preferences.

AB - Public opinion research shows that American citizens utilize domain-specific political values to guide opinion formation in the key issue areas that comprise the American political agenda. One set of political values operates on economic welfare opinions, a different set of values applies to cultural issue positions, a third set shapes foreign policy preferences, and so on in other policy domains. Drawing on Shalom Schwartz’s theory of basic human values, this paper argues that two socially focused values—self-transcendence and conservation—guide opinion formation across all major policy domains. By contrast, the personally focused values of self-enhancement and openness-to-change should play a more limited role in preference formation. These hypotheses are tested using data from a novel 2011 national survey and the 2012 General Social Survey. The statistical results affirm expectations. We show that self-transcendence and conservation values predict scores on symbolic ideology, economic conservatism, racial conservatism, cultural conservatism, civil liberties, and foreign policy opinions. Self-enhancement and openness-to-change values play a modest role in shaping preferences.

KW - basic human values

KW - domain-specific issues

KW - U.S. public opinion

KW - political agenda

KW - self transcendence

KW - conservation

UR - https://www.scopus.com/inward/record.uri?eid=2-s2.0-84966318691&partnerID=40&md5=51efa2a920dd0daffe0724f7e22974cb

UR - http://link.springer.com/journal/11109

U2 - 10.1007/s11109-016-9344-x

DO - 10.1007/s11109-016-9344-x

M3 - Article

VL - 38

SP - 977

EP - 997

JO - Political Behavior

T2 - Political Behavior

JF - Political Behavior

SN - 0190-9320

IS - 4

ER -