Special thanks to Andrew Baum, David O. Sears, and an anonymous reviewer for their comments on previous drafts of the paper. The authors would also like to thank Russell Clark, III, William Dahlem, Anne Maass, Barry Sapolsky, Cindy Smoke, Mike Tolnay. George E. Weaver, and Stephen G. West for their contributions to the study.
Selective Evaluation and Recall During the 1980 Reagan-Carter Debate1
Article first published online: 31 JUL 2006
Journal of Applied Social Psychology
Volume 13, Issue 5, pages 427–442, October 1983
How to Cite
Bothwell, R. K. and Brigham, J. c. (1983), Selective Evaluation and Recall During the 1980 Reagan-Carter Debate. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 13: 427–442. doi: 10.1111/j.1559-1816.1983.tb01750.x
- Issue published online: 31 JUL 2006
- Article first published online: 31 JUL 2006
To assess the effects of the 1980 Reagan-Carter presidential debate, samples of college students were surveyed in the laboratory and in the field before and after watching the debate. Responses were consistent across groups, indicating that both selective recall and selective evaluation occurred. The plurality of subjects in both groups (i.e., field and laboratory) were better at recalling their preferred candidate's arguments than those of the opposition. In addition, judgments of who won were biased in favor of predebate presidential preference. Commitment was not significantly related to either process (i.e., selective evaluation or selective recall), indicating that both strongly committed and weakly committed individuals may selectively encode and selectively evaluate incoming political information. These findings are discussed in light of the timing of the debate.