The purpose of this study is to examine who citizens blame for property damage and loss of life in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina and how citizens base their decision on who is to blame, whether they are based on biased or content-rich information. The survey uses political party affiliations and the job titles of public officials to see how the inclusion or absence of these details affects how citizens blame certain individuals. The survey was conducted by Knowledge Networks (KN) over the Internet in May 2006, using a nationally representative sample of 397 American adults. All Americans were sampled from the KN panel, not simply those directly affected by Hurricane Katrina, because the entire nation formed judgments about the competence of the government officials involved.
Neil Malhotra, Alexander Kuo