Honors Political Cognition


IDSC 480-03 CRN 43063 Honors Political Cognition
Fall 2012 – W 3:25-5:00  OEC 313
Professors: Steve Hatting (Political Science) and Greg Robinson-Riegler (Psychology)

This proposed seminar will focus on the perceptions of people who will decide the outcome of the November 6, 2012 national election for the presidency of the United States.  One of the instructors is a cognitive psychologist; the other is a political scientist. Together they will guide a collaborative investigation into the relationship between “political cognition” (ways in which people acquire and use information within the political arena) and the “electoral process” (ways in which people who choose to participate in the selection of a president interact toward a preferred result). Questions about which the seminar participants might expect to inquire include:

  1. How do people perceive political candidates and form attitudes about them?
  2. What role does the context (e.g., speech, “infomercial,” debate) in which information is presented play in peoples’ evaluation of candidates?
  3. How do people reason about political issues?
  4. How do people make decisions about political candidates based on limited information?
  5. How does overall cognitive ability relate to the choices that voters make?

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