Motivated Innumeracy: Estimating the Size of the Gun Owner Population and Its Consequences for Opposition to Gun Restrictions
Joslyn, Mark R.
Haider-Markel, Donald P.
Scholarly/refereed, author accepted manuscript
© 2018 Policy Studies Organization
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Past research suggests that people substantially overestimate the size of minority populations. Labeled “innumeracy,” inflated estimates of minority populations can have a negative impact on intergroup relations and influence policy attitudes toward minority groups. Our research examines people’s estimates of the gun owner population in the United States. We discover that people vastly overestimate gun ownership and similarly misjudge its future growth. Estimations of size are influenced by several determinants including gun ownership and affective orientations toward gun owners. Gun owners, compared to nongun owners, reported higher estimations of the gun owner population. In addition, positive feelings toward gun owners were associated with increased estimates of gun ownership. Affective orientations toward minority populations are in fact a key predictor neglected by prior innumeracy studies. Finally, estimations of the gun owner population, and judgments about its future growth, were both significant determinants of gun policy preferences.
This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Joslyn, M. R. and Haider‐Markel, D. P. (2018), Motivated Innumeracy: Estimating the Size of the Gun Owner Population and Its Consequences for Opposition to Gun Restrictions. Politics and Policy, 46: 827-850. doi:10.1111/polp.12276, which has been published in final form at http://doi.org/10.1111/polp.12276. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.
Joslyn, Mark R., and Donald P. Haider-Markel. 2018. “Motivated Innumeracy: Estimating the Size of the Gun Owner Population and its Consequences for Opposition to Gun Restrictions.” Politics & Policy 46(6): 827-850. https://doi.org/10.1111/polp.12276
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