lnu.sePublications
Change search
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf
Experimental evidence of a bandwagon effect on voting
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Studies. (DISA, CSS)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0882-4851
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0664-5729
2019 (English)In: 6th International Meeting on Experimental and Behavioral Social Sciences (IMEBESS), 2019Conference paper, Oral presentation only (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Social influence and conformity have been thoroughly studied by social psychologists, leading political scientist to the postulation of the bandwagon effect. However, despite its relevance, the bandwagon effect, claiming that seeing pre-election polls makes votes for majority options more likely, has not been properly tested for political voting and evidence regarding this effect is mixed. Experiments either were ran in very abstract contexts only vaguely representing political voting, or only testing the effect of polls on opinions or hypothetical votes . We present an unique experimental design with more realism than previous designs, keeping the experimental control needed to make causal claims.

We tested in an online experiment with 1115 participants from the US how votes change when pre-election polls are shown. Our experimental design is unique in that the votes of the participants have real-world consequences within their electoral area (the US), empower actual political organizations falling on a left-right spectrum, and the votes are on issues currently debated in US politics (firearms, abortion, immigration, and environment). Per issue participants chose between three different charities, representing different positions within the political spectrum. As a result of the experiment 1200$ were distributed across these charities as suggested by the vote.

In line with the bandwagon-effect, we find clear evidence that seeing poll results makes votes for majority opinion more likely. After seeing the surveys, majority opinions received an extra ~7% of votes. In our experiment this effect did not depend on the electoral system and was robust against controlling for the gender and age of voters and the self-assessment on a left-right spectrum. However, we find evidence that under extreme-polarization (where moderate position are the least popular option) the bandwagon-effect is much weaker.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019.
Keywords [en]
Poll, bandwagon effect, conformity
National Category
Sociology
Research subject
Social Sciences, Sociology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-82573OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-82573DiVA, id: diva2:1315957
Conference
Presented at 6th International Meeting on Experimental and Behavioral Social Sciences (IMEBESS), Utrecht, May 2-4, 2019.
Available from: 2019-05-15 Created: 2019-05-15 Last updated: 2019-06-26

Open Access in DiVA

No full text in DiVA

Other links

Book of abstracts

Authority records BETA

Farjam, MikeLoxbo, Karl

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Farjam, MikeLoxbo, Karl
By organisation
Department of Social StudiesDepartment of Political Science
Sociology

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar

urn-nbn

Altmetric score

urn-nbn
Total: 50 hits
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf