Ambivalence Toward American Political Institutions

Sources and Consequences
  • Kathleen M. McGraw
  • Brandon Bartels


The characterization of attitudes as lying along a single bipolar (negative to positive) continuum has widely been rejected as inadequate in social and political psychology. Instead, scholars recognize that attitudes can have separate positive and negative components—a two-dimensional view which contends that ambivalence is fundamental to our understanding of attitudes. As the contributions to this volume illustrate, within a relatively short period of time scholars have made important advances in demonstrating the role that ambivalence plays in the expression of attitudes about social and political policies, individuals, and social groups.1 However, there has been no consideration of ambivalence toward another object of tremendous importance to the political system, namely, the institutions of American government.


Political System Religious Service Democratic Process Negative Belief Political Knowledge 
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Copyright information

© Stephen C. Craig and Michael D. Martinez 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kathleen M. McGraw
  • Brandon Bartels

There are no affiliations available

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