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Using Bayesian Aldrich-McKelvey Scaling to Study Citizens' Ideological Preferences and Perceptions

Hare, C and Armstrong, DA and Bakker, R and Carroll, R and Poole, KT (2015) 'Using Bayesian Aldrich-McKelvey Scaling to Study Citizens' Ideological Preferences and Perceptions.' American Journal of Political Science, 59 (3). 759 - 774. ISSN 0092-5853

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Abstract

©2014, Midwest Political Science Association. Aldrich-McKelvey scaling is a powerful method that corrects for differential-item functioning (DIF) in estimating the positions of political stimuli (e.g., parties and candidates) and survey respondents along a latent policy dimension from issue scale data. DIF arises when respondents interpret issue scales (e.g., the standard liberal-conservative scale) differently and distort their placements of the stimuli and themselves. We develop a Bayesian implementation of the classical maximum likelihood Aldrich-McKelvey scaling method that overcomes some important shortcomings in the classical procedure. We then apply this method to study citizens' ideological preferences and perceptions using data from the 2004-2012 American National Election Studies and the 2010 Cooperative Congressional Election Study. Our findings indicate that DIF biases self-placements on the liberal-conservative scale in a way that understates the extent of polarization in the contemporary American electorate and that citizens have remarkably accurate perceptions of the ideological positions of senators and Senate candidates.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HA Statistics
J Political Science > JK Political institutions (United States)
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Government, Department of
Depositing User: Royce Carroll
Date Deposited: 21 Feb 2017 14:35
Last Modified: 04 Feb 2019 11:16
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/18923

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