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      We Spend How Much? Misperceptions, Innumeracy, and Support for the Foreign Aid in the United States and Great Britain

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          Abstract

          Majorities of citizens in high-income countries often oppose foreign aid spending. One popular explanation is that the public overestimates the percentage and amount of taxpayer funds that goes toward overseas aid. Does expressing aid flows in dollar and/or percentage terms shift public opinion toward aid? We report the results of an experiment examining differences in support for aid spending as a function of the information American and British respondents receive about foreign aid spending. In both nations, providing respondents with information about foreign aid spending as a percentage of the national budget significantly reduces support for cuts. The findings suggest that support for aid can be increased, but significant opposition to aid spending remains.

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          Most cited references 14

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          Framing Public Opinion in Competitive Democracies

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            Political Ignorance and Collective Policy Preferences

             Martin Gilens (2001)
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              Why Heuristics Work

              The adaptive toolbox is a Darwinian-inspired theory that conceives of the mind as a modular system that is composed of heuristics, their building blocks, and evolved capacities. The study of the adaptive toolbox is descriptive and analyzes the selection and structure of heuristics in social and physical environments. The study of ecological rationality is prescriptive and identifies the structure of environments in which specific heuristics either succeed or fail. Results have been used for designing heuristics and environments to improve professional decision making in the real world.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Journal of Experimental Political Science
                J Exp Polit Sci
                Cambridge University Press (CUP)
                2052-2630
                2052-2649
                2017
                September 14 2017
                2017
                : 4
                : 2
                : 119-128
                Article
                10.1017/XPS.2017.6
                © 2017

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