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Extreme Recall: Which Politicians Come to Mind?

Using data from MTurk, we find that people are likelier to recall prominent politicians. On average, the people recall politicians who are no more extreme than the median member of Congress. For instance, recalled politicians are more extreme than the Senate mean just 55.6% of the times. And the average difference to the Senate means is a mere .017. (For comparison, the standard deviation of CF-scores within the parties in the Senate is about .3.) People do recall more extreme politicians earlier but again the bias is substantively not particularly large. However, people tend to think that these relatively moderate politicians are ideologically extreme. Thus, the bias may be less in who is covered in the media (except for the bias related to prominence---executive branch, presidency, especially), and more about how they are covered.

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Extreme Recall: Which Politicians Come to Mind?

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