Political Behavior

, Volume 14, Issue 3, pp 195-211

First online:

Social psychology, demographic variables, and linear regression: Breaking the iron triangle in voting research

  • Christopher H. AchenAffiliated withDepartment of Political Science and Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan

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A previous paper showed that a simple prospective model of voting and party identification subsumed much of the social-psychological and retrospective voting literatures, in the sense that it rigorously implied their key findings and added many new ones as well. This paper extends the argument by showing that the same prospective voting model has drastic implications for conventional statistical specifications in voting research. First, linear models should be discarded in favor of a particular nonlinear specification. Second, demographics should be dropped from the list of independent variables.