CONTACT: MARY GERAGHTY
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0011; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: March 28, 2000
Visiting professor to speak at UI April 7 on how voters choose
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- American voters have been labeled apathetic and even
lazy based on low turnouts in most recent elections, but even those who take
the responsibility seriously are likely to be swayed more by prior beliefs
about a candidate than by the issues debated during the campaign.
Milton Lodge, Distinguished University Professor of Political Science at
the State University of New York at Stony Brook, will discuss his research
into this voter behavior in an Ida Cordelia Beam Distinguished Visiting Lecture
at 3:30 p.m. Friday, April 7 in Room 40, Schaeffer Hall. The lecture is free
and open to the public.
Lodge, a leading student of political psychology, will discuss "Motivated
Skepticism in the Evaluation of Political Beliefs." In the lecture he
will report the results of experiments testing the impact of one's prior attitudes
on the interpretation and evaluation of political issues. Findings suggest
that even voters who intend to be fair-minded in their decision-making carry
preconceived notions with them into the election. Those biases override voters'
attempts at even-handed consideration of candidates and the search for information
about specific issues.
A prolific author, he has published many books and is a frequent contributor
to leading political science journals. Also, he has received numerous National
Science Foundation grants to continue his research.
The lecture is sponsored by the department of political science as part
of the University of Iowa's Ida Cordelia Beam Distinguished Visiting Professorship
Program. This program brings outstanding scholars to the UI campus for residencies
ranging from a few days to an entire academic year. A native of Vinton, Iowa,
Beam willed her farm to the UI in 1977. Her only university connection was
a relative who graduated from the College of Medicine. Proceeds from the sale
of the farm were used to establish the visiting professorships program in
her name. Since 1977, hundreds of eminent scholars and scientists have visited
the UI campus to give public lectures and to meet with students and faculty.
Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of
Iowa-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability that requires
an accommodation in order to attend this lecture, please contact the department
of political science at 335-2358.