Who Accurately Predicted the End of the Government Shutdown?
23 Pages Posted: 25 May 2015
Date Written: April 6, 2015
In October 2013, the US government was shut down because of a stalled budget bill, and uncertainty prevailed regarding the end of the shutdown. Four days before the shutdown ended, we conducted a study on Mechanical Turk (N=225) to investigate which individual differences were associated with accurate predictions of the shutdown’s end. The most accurate forecasts were made by people who were politically knowledgeable and politically engaged. Self-confidence (in one’s forecast) and generalized trust were also positively associated with accuracy, but optimism was not. Conservatives were expected to predict later end dates, yet conservatism neither predicted inaccuracy nor moderated the other effects. These findings suggest that in at least some political forecasts, ideology may play a trivial role.
Keywords: forecasting, ideology, political engagement, political knowledge, trust
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