Nudging Turnout: Mere Measurement and Implementation Planning of Intentions to Vote
Princeton University - Department of Political Science
Daniel G. Goldstein
Microsoft Research New York City; London Business School
Anja S. Göritz
University of Erlangen-Nuremberg-Friedrich Alexander Universität Erlangen Nürnberg
Peter M. Gollwitzer
New York University (NYU) - Department of Psychology
March 26, 2007
Randomized experiments, conducted during the 2006 US midterm election and the 2005 German federal election, examined the impact on voter turnout of two simple treatments. The effects of a mere measurement treatment (asking people if they intend to vote) and an implementation intentions treatment (asking people how they intend to vote), were estimated for both one-shot goals (e.g., voting on Election Day) and open-ended goals (e.g., voting early) with deadlines in either days or months in the future. Mere measurement increased voter turnout for open-ended goals and for proximal one-shot goals but not for distant one-shot goals. Implementation intentions increased voter turnout for both open-ended and one-shot goals in the near and long term.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 23
Keywords: mere measurement, implementation intentions, voting, turnout, elections, surveys
JEL Classification: C11, C93, D72
Date posted: March 30, 2007 ; Last revised: September 29, 2008
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