This research was funded by a pilot grant to Eugene Borgida from the Minnesota Transdisciplinary Tobacco Use Research Center (TTURC, NCI/NIDA P50 DA-13333). Portions of this paper were presented at the annual convention of the American Psychological Society, Chicago, IL, 2004. The authors thank the Minnesota Center for Survey Research for their administration of the survey, and the Minnesota TTURC for its support. We also thank Dorothy Hatsukami and Anne Joseph for their comments on an earlier draft of the manuscript.
Symbolic Politics and the Prediction of Attitudes Toward Federal Regulation of Reduced-Exposure Tobacco Products†
Article first published online: 22 FEB 2011
© 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Journal of Applied Social Psychology
Volume 41, Issue 2, pages 381–400, February 2011
How to Cite
Kim, A., Stark, E. and Borgida, E. (2011), Symbolic Politics and the Prediction of Attitudes Toward Federal Regulation of Reduced-Exposure Tobacco Products. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 41: 381–400. doi: 10.1111/j.1559-1816.2010.00718.x
- Issue published online: 22 FEB 2011
- Article first published online: 22 FEB 2011
The present study relies on symbolic politics theory to predict public attitudes toward the federal regulation of conventional tobacco products (a familiar attitude object) and reduced-exposure tobacco products (a relatively novel attitude object). We predicted that attitudes toward most forms of regulation would be more strongly influenced by symbolic beliefs about the role of government in society than by self-interested concerns, with the exception of taxation. We predicted that the financial consequences of taxation policies would be less ambiguous for those who are affected, resulting in a stronger relationship between self-interest and policy attitudes. The results strongly supported our hypotheses, suggesting a process by which symbolic beliefs and self-interested concerns influence attitude formation. Theoretical and policy implications are discussed.