Explaining Preferences from Behavior: A Cognitive Dissonance Approach

@article{Acharya2018ExplainingPF,
  title={Explaining Preferences from Behavior: A Cognitive Dissonance Approach},
  author={Avidit Acharya and Matthew Blackwell and M. Sen},
  journal={The Journal of Politics},
  year={2018},
  volume={80},
  pages={400 - 411}
}
The standard approach in positive political theory posits that action choices are the consequences of preferences. Social psychology—in particular, cognitive dissonance theory—suggests the opposite: preferences may themselves be affected by action choices. We present a framework that applies this idea to three models of political choice: (1) one in which partisanship emerges naturally in a two-party system despite policy being multidimensional, (2) one in which interactions with people who… Expand
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