Elected officials have difficulty controlling politically insulated institutions, leaving the appointment process as perhaps their most effective means of influence. Yet, history shows that actors on these institutionsespecially the Supreme Courtoften behave unpredictably. Our goal is to determine whether variation in two components of cognitive style, prior to a justices nomination to the Court, predicts ideological drift once on the Court. Using linguistic software created by cognitive psychologists, we examined over 1000 speeches, articles, and separate opinions written by Supreme Court justices before they were nominated to the Court. Our results show that justices whose prenomination words revealed cognitive inconsistency drift more than those with stable world views.
|Number of pages
|Journal of Politics
|Published - Apr 2012
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science