A tale of two ideologies: Explaining public support for economic interventions

Elizabeth Popp, Thomas J. Rudolph

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article proposes a theory of two ideologies in which we explain how the different evaluative processes underlying operational and symbolic ideology should influence public support for an economic recovery plan. Exploiting the political and economic uncertainties of a postelection, pre-inauguration period, we conduct a survey experiment in which we manipulate the source of an economic recovery package. We find that symbolic attachments and principled beliefs have independent yet comparably sized impacts on policy judgments. We show that the directional effects of symbolic attachments are contingent upon source cues while the directional effects of principled beliefs are fixed. Finally, the results demonstrate the conditions under which the symbolic sacrifice of ideological attachment and the principled sacrifice of ideological beliefs moderate the impact of political trust on support for government intervention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)808-820
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Politics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science


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