Share this

The Hidden Agenda of the Political Mind: How Self-Interest Shapes Our Opinions and Why We Won’t Admit It, Jason Weeden and Robert Kurzban

Reviewed by Christopher Weber

BUY

 

Group interest often overshadows self-interest in the study of political behavior, political psychology, and public opinion research. In The Hidden Agenda of the Political Mind, Jason Weeden and Robert Kurzban challenge self-interest’s relegated status by refocusing attention on the role of self-interest in policy evaluation. Weeden and Kurzban argue that self-interest consists of more than “some material gain now or soon” (p. 36); instead, they “view self-interest as advancing any range of people’s typical goals, whether directly involving material gain or not, whether involving immediate gain or something more subtle and advances someone’s progress over the longer term” (p. 37).

This is a more inclusive definition, but in practice, the distinction between self and group interest is rarely straightforward. In many circumstances, group and self-interests align. This broad definition produces a degree of conceptual slippage throughout The Hidden Agenda, as it is occasionally difficult to differentiate group-versus self-oriented motives. In spite of this, the authors develop a theoretically and empirically convincing account regarding how fundamental exogenous factors—such as race, religion, gender, education, and income—intersect to produce policy preferences.

It

To continue reading, see options above.

About PSQ's Editor

Demetrios James Caraley

Full Access

Join the Academy of Political Science and automatically receive Political Science Quarterly.

Editor’s spotlight

Developments in Beijing

The Varieties of Collective Financial Statecraft: The BRICS and China
LESLIE ELLIOTT ARMIJO

Chinese Thinking on the South China Sea and the Future of Regional Security
FENG ZHANG

Search the Archives

Publishing since 1886, PSQ is the most widely read and accessible scholarly journal with distinguished contributors such as: Lisa Anderson, Robert A. Dahl, Samuel P. Huntington, Robert Jervis, Joseph S. Nye, Jr., Theda Skocpol, Woodrow Wilson

view additional issues

New APS Book

Continuing Issues in U.S. National Security Policy   CONTINUING ISSUES IN U.S. NATIONAL SECURITY POLICY

Most read

Articles | Book reviews

Understanding the Bush Doctrine
Robert Jervis

The Study of Administration
Woodrow Wilson

Notes on Roosevelt's "Quarantine" Speech
Dorothy Borg

view all

About US

Academy of Political Science

The Academy of Political Science, promotes objective, scholarly analyses of political, social, and economic issues. Through its conferences and publications APS provides analysis and insight into both domestic and foreign policy issues.

Political Science Quarterly

With neither an ideological nor a partisan bias, PSQ looks at facts and analyzes data objectively to help readers understand what is really going on in national and world affairs.

Stay Connected

newsstand locator
About APS