How Motivation Influences Political Decision Making

Brian J Gaines, Benjamin R. Kantack

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Although motivation undergirds virtually all aspects of political decision making, its influence is often unacknowledged, or taken for granted, in behavioral political science. Motivations are inevitably important in generic models of decision theory. In real-world politics, two crucially important venues for motivational effects are the decision of whether or not to vote, and how (or, whether) partisanship and other policy views color information-collection, so that people choose and then justify, rather than studying options before choosing. For researchers, motivations of survey respondents and experimental subjects are deeply important, but only just beginning to garner the attention they deserve.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationOxford Research Encyclopedia
Subtitle of host publicationPolitical Decision Making
EditorsDavid P. Redlawsk
PublisherOxford University Press
StatePublished - Jan 2020


  • motivation
  • political decision making
  • total survey error
  • paradox of voting
  • motivated reasoning


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