Access to paid content on this site is currently suspended due to excessive activity being detected from your IP address 188.8.131.52. If your access is via an institutional subscription, please contact your librarian to request reinstatement. If you are using a personal subscription, please contact the Duke University Press using the Contact Us form.
Citizens, especially those who are knowledgeable and care the most about politics, are motivated to defend their beliefs and attitudes in the face of discrepant information. These motivated biases strongly influence the way people think about health care policies and the politicians and parties that propose or attack these contentious policies. Three cognitive mechanisms are identified: a prior belief effect, confirmation bias, and disconfirmation bias. Together, these information processes conspire to produce persistence and polarization of opinion on health care policies.