2012

Correcting Mistakes: Cognitive Dissonance and Political Attitudes in Sweden and the United States

Reprint No. 2012:32

Author(s): Mikael Elinder Year: 2012 Title: Public Choice Volume (No.): 153 (1-2) Pages: 235–249
Online article (restrictions may apply)
Preliminary version


Cognitive dissonance theory predicts that the act of voting makes people more positive toward the party or candidate they have voted for. Following Mullainathan and Washington (Am. Econ. J. Appl. Econ. 1:86–111, 2009), I test this prediction by using exogenous variation in turnout provided by the voting age restriction. I improve on previous studies by investigating political attitudes, measured just before elections, when they are highly predictive of voting. In contrast to earlier studies I find no effect of voting on political attitudes. This result holds for both Sweden and the United States.


Reference:
Elinder, Mikael (2012), "Correcting Mistakes: Cognitive Dissonance and Political Attitudes in Sweden and the United States". Public Choice 153(1-2), 235–249.

Mikael Elinder

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Interdisciplinary European Studies

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This book explores the complex and ever-changing relationship between the European Union and its member states. The recent surge in tension in this relationship has been prompted by the actions of some member state governments as they question fundamental EU values and principles and refuse to implement common decisions seemingly on the basis of narrowly defined national interests.

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