Political Judgment

Structure and Process
Milton Lodge and Kathleen M. McGraw, Editors
An information processing approach to how citizens make important political decisions


How are impressions about political candidates organized in memory? What is the nature of political group stereotypes? How do citizens make voting decisions? How do citizens formulate opinions about key issues and policies? The contributors to Political Judgment: Structure and Process reach answers to these questions that will substantially influence how the next generation of scholars working at the intersection of political science and psychology, and public opinion researchers more generally, goes about its work.

The editors have organized the book into two sections. The first chapters are concerned with the representation of various types of political information in memory (e.g. candidates, political groups, and attitudes). The final chapters are concerned with the dynamics of political information processing, all specifying in detail the cognitive processes that produce a political response, be it the evaluation of a political candidate, a vote choice, or articulation of an issue preference. In addition to an exploration of these important substantive questions, Political Judgment is unique in bringing together a whole array of new methodological techniques—including reaction times, computational modeling, and process tracing—which have the potential to alter the way that political scientists approach the research enterprise.

The contributors excel at making complex topics clear. Representatives of mainstream and more recent approaches coexist in this volume to present the reader with a good understanding of what political psychologists know about political information processing as a whole. On a broader level, the editors underscore the controversies illuminated by the work presented here as a way of identifying areas for future research.

Milton Lodge is Professor of Political Science and Kathleen M. McGraw is Associate Professor of Political Science and Psychology, State University of New York at Stony Brook. They are co-directors of the Laboratories for Political Research at Stony Brook.

Praise / Awards

  • ". . . Political Judgment not only represents state-of-the-art research in one domain of political psychology; it also encourages us to think about the nature of future research. Any book that can do that is a success."
    American Political Science Review
  • ". . . an excellent and welcome addition to the literature on information processing and political cognition. . . . [The] book provides one of the best available overviews of present research in the information processing approach to political cognition."
  • "For those of us who have watched the development of the 'Stony Brook school' of political psychology, this is an essential volume. . . . The volume makes an important contribution to the accumulation of knowledge about political-candidate evaluation and provides an excellent overview of the place of current research in cognitive psychology."
    Journal of Politics
  • "This is a very readable text that provides a good introduction to the study of voter decisionmaking in the field of political psychology. It is an excellent book for graduate students and academic libraries."
    Perspectives on Political Science

Product Details

  • 6 x 9.
  • 320pp.
  • numerous charts, tables and graphs.
Available for sale worldwide

  • Hardcover
  • 1995
  • Available
  • 978-0-472-10541-0

Add to Cart
  • $89.95 U.S.