Same Facts, Different Interpretations: Partisan Motivation and Opinion on Iraq

  title={Same Facts, Different Interpretations: Partisan Motivation and Opinion on Iraq},
  author={Brian J. Gaines and James H. Kuklinski and Paul J. Quirk and Buddy Peyton and Jay Verkuilen},
  journal={The Journal of Politics},
  pages={957 - 974}
Scholars assume that citizens perform better when they know pertinent facts. Factual beliefs, however, become relevant for political judgments only when people interpret them. Interpretations provide opportunities for partisans to rationalize their existing opinions. Using panel studies, we examine whether and how partisans updated factual beliefs, interpretations of beliefs, and opinions about the handling of the Iraq war as real-world conditions changed. Most respondents held similar, fairly… 
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