Policy Reasoning and Political Values: The Problem of Racial Equality

Paul M. Sniderman, Richard A. Brody, James H. Kuklinski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


What is the structure of policy reasoning among citizens at large, and particularly, how does this structure vary with the level of education? To answer this question, we examine the nature of policy reasoning on the issue of racial equality. Our analysis helps explain why the highly educated show greater support for the principle of racial equality than do the less educated but not appreciably greater support for government efforts to promote it. Highly educated citizens, we argue, have more fully integrated and differentiated belief systems, and thus they take a wider range of factors into account when evaluating government policy.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)75-94
JournalAmerican Journal of Political Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 1984


  • reasoning
  • conservatism
  • racial equality
  • political attitudes
  • racial policies
  • cognitive models
  • regression coefficients
  • values education


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