Preference Change in Competitive Political Environments

James N. Druckman, Arthur Lupia

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

74 Scopus citations


Political actions and outcomes depend on people's preferences over candidates, policies, and other politically relevant phenomena. For this reason, a great deal of political activity entails attempts to change other people's preferences. When do politically relevant preferences change? Addressing this question requires recognition of two realities: (a) Many stimuli compete for every person's attention, and (b) every person's capacity to pay attention to information is limited. With these realities in mind, we review research on preference change in competitive environments. We discuss how individuals allocate attention and how individuals' values and identities affect their use of the information to which they attend. We then discuss how this work has been applied to a new problem: improving the communication of scientific facts in increasingly politicized environments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13-31
Number of pages19
JournalAnnual Review of Political Science
StatePublished - May 11 2016


  • Identity
  • Political information
  • Public opinion
  • Scientific communication
  • Values

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science


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