A low need for cognition

The Washington Post makes an important point:

Our research finds that Trump has attracted a disproportionate (and unprecedented) number of ‘low-information voters’ to his campaign. Furthermore, these voters are more likely to respond to emotional appeals — whether about the economy, immigration, Muslims, racial relations, sexism, and even hostility to the first African American U.S. president, Barack Obama. They are the ideal constituency for a candidate like Trump.

We define low-information voters as those who do not know certain basic facts about government and lack what psychologists call a ‘need for cognition.’ Those with a high need for cognition have a positive attitude toward tasks that require reasoning and effortful thinking and are, therefore, more likely to invest the time and resources to do so when evaluating complex issues. Those with a low need for cognition, on the other hand, find little reward in the collection and evaluation of new information when it comes to problem solving and the consideration of competing issue positions. They are more likely to rely on cognitive shortcuts, such as ‘experts’ or other opinion leaders, for cues.”

Well, not so much experts and opinion leaders, more just Fox News.

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