While I found Jost’s discussion of the connection between ideology, psychology, decision-making, and identity compelling, I also believed he skimmed over one of the most important underlying issues. Namely, what factors influence or cause an individual to identify with a certain party versus the characteristics that emerge as a result of their affiliation. I am trying to differentiate causation and correlation.
Jost brings this in briefly at the end:
Many other discoveries concerning the causes and consequences of left–right ideological differences await psychologists and other social and behavioral scientists but only if we accept that the differences exist and can be studied scientifically. (Jost, 20)
I am definitely intrigued by Jost’s argument and look forward to further studies in the area that can link ideology in adult life with influences earlier on.