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Is the Political Animal Politically Ignorant? Applying Evolutionary Psychology to the Study of Political Attitudes:

Is the Political Animal Politically Ignorant? Applying Evolutionary Psychology to the Study of... As evidenced by research in evolutionary psychology, humans have evolved sophisticated psychological mechanisms tailored to solve enduring adaptive problems of social life. Many of these social problems are political in nature and relate to the distribution of costs and benefits within and between groups. In that sense, evolutionary psychology suggests that humans are, by nature, political animals. By implication, a straightforward application of evolutionary psychology to the study of public opinion seems to entail that modern individuals find politics intrinsically interesting. Yet, as documented by more than fifty years of research in political science, people lack knowledge of basic features of the political process and the ability to form consistent political attitudes. By reviewing and integrating research in evolutionary psychology and public opinion, we describe (1) why modern mass politics often fail to activate evolved mechanisms and (2) the conditions in which these mechanisms are in fact triggered. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Evolutionary Psychology SAGE

Is the Political Animal Politically Ignorant? Applying Evolutionary Psychology to the Study of Political Attitudes:

Evolutionary Psychology , Volume 10 (5): 1 – Dec 20, 2012

Is the Political Animal Politically Ignorant? Applying Evolutionary Psychology to the Study of Political Attitudes:

Evolutionary Psychology , Volume 10 (5): 1 – Dec 20, 2012

Abstract

As evidenced by research in evolutionary psychology, humans have evolved sophisticated psychological mechanisms tailored to solve enduring adaptive problems of social life. Many of these social problems are political in nature and relate to the distribution of costs and benefits within and between groups. In that sense, evolutionary psychology suggests that humans are, by nature, political animals. By implication, a straightforward application of evolutionary psychology to the study of public opinion seems to entail that modern individuals find politics intrinsically interesting. Yet, as documented by more than fifty years of research in political science, people lack knowledge of basic features of the political process and the ability to form consistent political attitudes. By reviewing and integrating research in evolutionary psychology and public opinion, we describe (1) why modern mass politics often fail to activate evolved mechanisms and (2) the conditions in which these mechanisms are in fact triggered.

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Publisher
SAGE
Copyright
Copyright © 2022 by SAGE Publications Inc., unless otherwise noted. Manuscript content on this site is licensed under Creative Commons Licenses
ISSN
1474-7049
eISSN
1474-7049
DOI
10.1177/147470491201000504
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

As evidenced by research in evolutionary psychology, humans have evolved sophisticated psychological mechanisms tailored to solve enduring adaptive problems of social life. Many of these social problems are political in nature and relate to the distribution of costs and benefits within and between groups. In that sense, evolutionary psychology suggests that humans are, by nature, political animals. By implication, a straightforward application of evolutionary psychology to the study of public opinion seems to entail that modern individuals find politics intrinsically interesting. Yet, as documented by more than fifty years of research in political science, people lack knowledge of basic features of the political process and the ability to form consistent political attitudes. By reviewing and integrating research in evolutionary psychology and public opinion, we describe (1) why modern mass politics often fail to activate evolved mechanisms and (2) the conditions in which these mechanisms are in fact triggered.

Journal

Evolutionary PsychologySAGE

Published: Dec 20, 2012

Keywords: political attitudes; political science; social cognition; media effects; decoupled cognition; political sophistication

References