The psychological foundations of rational ignorance: biased heuristics and decision costs

Taylor, Brad R. (2019) The psychological foundations of rational ignorance: biased heuristics and decision costs. Constitutional Political Economy. ISSN 1043-4062


Abstract

Rational ignorance and related models of voter choice have been accused of psychological implausibility or even incoherence. Although such models run counter to folk psychological understandings of choice, this paper argues that they are consistent with widely-accepted dual process theories of cognition. Specifcally, I suggest that political ignorance can be explained via a “default interventionist” account in which a biased intuitive subsystem produces automatic responses which are overridden by rational refection when the prospective costs of error are significant. This is consistent with
rational ignorance and related theories of political ignorance and bias. Providing stronger psychological foundations for rational ignorance also suggests new ways in which the theory might be developed to increase its predictive, analytic, and evaluative power.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Published online: 21 November 2019. Files associated with this item cannot be displayed due to copyright restrictions.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Commerce (1 July 2013 -)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Commerce (1 July 2013 -)
Date Deposited: 24 Jan 2020 01:40
Last Modified: 30 Jan 2020 05:20
Uncontrolled Keywords: rational ignorance, rational irrationality, behavioural political economy, dual process theory, heuristics and biases
Fields of Research : 14 Economics > 1402 Applied Economics > 140213 Public Economics-Public Choice
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 94 Law, Politics and Community Services > 9402 Government and Politics > 940202 Electoral Systems
C Society > 94 Law, Politics and Community Services > 9402 Government and Politics > 940201 Civics and Citizenship
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1007/s10602-019-09292-4
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/37764

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