Political Behavior

, Volume 14, Issue 3, pp 195–211 | Cite as

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

  • Christopher H. Achen


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.


Iron Linear Regression Linear Model Social Psychology Demographic Variable 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christopher H. Achen
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Political Science and Institute for Social ResearchUniversity of MichiganAnn Arbor

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