Do You Have a Voting Plan? Implementation Intentions, Voter Turnout, and Organic Plan Making
University of Notre Dame
Harvard University and Analyst Institute
May 10, 2011
Psychological Science, Vol. 21, pp. 194-199, 2010
Phone calls encouraging citizens to vote are staples of modern campaigns. Insights from psychological science can make these calls dramatically more potent while also generating opportunities to expand psychological theory. We present a field experiment conducted during the 2008 presidential election (N = 287,228) showing that facilitating the formation of a voting plan (i.e., implementation intentions) can increase turnout by 4.1 percentage points among those contacted, but a standard encouragement call and self-prediction have no significant impact. Among single- eligible-voter households, the formation of a voting plan increased turnout among persons contacted by 9.1 percentage points, whereas those in multiple-eligible voter households were unaffected by all scripts. Some situational factors may organically facilitate implementation-intentions formation more readily than others; we present data suggesting that this could explain the differential treatment effect that we found. We discuss implications for psychological and political science, and public interventions involving implementation intentions formation.
Keywords: implementation intentions, self-prediction, voting, nudgesAccepted Paper Series
Date posted: May 12, 2011
© 2013 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
This page was processed by apollo3 in 0.344 seconds