Although Republicans and Democrats frequently disagree ideologically, the leaders of both parties share one commonality in particular--they inevitably make flawed judgments. To adequately understand the extent to which psychological filters act as a fundamental factor in decision making, this thesis shall analyze current political events and observe how partisans within both administrations deal with information incompatible with their own values and beliefs. Specifically referencing the war in Iraq, weapons of mass destruction (WMDs), civil unrest, national security, the national economic climate, and the housing market, this study examines the way leaders deal differently with conflicting information. Although all subjects in the latter shall be discussed, the primary focus is directed towards weapons of mass destruction during the Bush administration and the economic climate during the Obama administration. During their presidencies, both administrations faced different circumstances and congruently possessed different ideologies in respect of how to resolve current problems. Therefore, both President Obama and Bush shall equally be observed in order to adequately compare the extent to which each succumbs to cognitive biases when faced with dissonant information. In addition, groupthink theory, schema theory, and self-justification shall be discussed as complimentary forces which impair political members' decisions. Overall, qualitatively assessing both Republican and Democratic parties in one comprehensive examination breaks the bounds of usual political science studies because both partisans are linked more by their similarities than differences.
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Houghton, David Patrick
Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
College of Sciences
Dissertations, Academic -- Sciences;Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic
Length of Campus-only Access
Honors in the Major Thesis
Urbanovich, Shelley, "Cognitive theory a qualitative comparison of the George W. Bush administration and the Barack H.Obama administration" (2012). HIM 1990-2015. 1308.