Political Behavior

, Volume 32, Issue 3, pp 423–430 | Cite as

The Enduring Effects of Social Pressure: Tracking Campaign Experiments Over a Series of Elections

  • Tiffany C. Davenport
  • Alan S. Gerber
  • Donald P. Green
  • Christopher W. Larimer
  • Christopher B. Mann
  • Costas Panagopoulos
Original Paper

Abstract

Recent field experiments have demonstrated the powerful effect of social pressure messages on voter turnout. This research note considers the question of whether these interventions’ effects persist over a series of subsequent elections. Tracking more than one million voters from six experimental studies, we find strong and statistically significant enduring effects one and sometimes two years after the initial communication.

Keywords

Voter turnout Social norms Habit formation 

References

  1. Ayres, I., Raseman, S., & Shih, A. (2009). Evidence from two large field experiments that peer comparison feedback can reduce residential energy usage. Unpublished manuscript, Yale Law School. SSRN 1434950.Google Scholar
  2. Bandura, A. (1977). Social learning theory. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
  3. Davenport, T. C. (2010). Public accountability and political participation: Effects of a face-to-face feedback intervention on voter turnout of public housing residents. Political Behavior, forthcoming. doi:10.1007/s11109-010-9109-x.
  4. Gerber, A. S., Green, D. P., Kaplan, E. H., & Kern, H. L. (2010a). Treatment, control, and placebo: Efficient estimation for three-group experiments. Political Analysis, forthcoming.Google Scholar
  5. Gerber, A. S., Green, D. P., & Larimer, C. W. (2008). Social pressure and voter turnout: Evidence from a large-scale field experiment. American Political Science Review, 102(1), 33–48.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Gerber, A. S., Green, D. P., & Larimer, C. W. (2010b). An experiment testing the relative effectiveness of encouraging voter participation by inducing feelings of pride or shame. Political Behavior, forthcoming. doi:10.1007/s11109-010-9110-4.
  7. Gerber, A. S., Green, D. P., & Shachar, R. (2003). Voting may be habit forming: Evidence from a randomized field experiment. American Journal of Political Science, 47(3), 540–550.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Goldstein, N. J., Cialdini, R. B., & Griskevicius, V. (2008). A room with a viewpoint: Using social norms to motivate environmental conservation in hotels. Journal of Consumer Research, 35(3), 472–482.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Green, D. P., Leong, T. Y., Kern, H. L., Gerber, A. S., & Larimer, C. W. (2009). Testing the accuracy of regression discontinuity analysis using experimental benchmarks. Political Analysis, 17(4), 400–417.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Mann, C. B. (2010). Is there backlash to social pressure? A large-scale field experiment on voter mobilization. Political Behavior, forthcoming. doi:10.1007/s11109-010-9124-y
  11. McConnell, M., Sinclair, B., & Green D. P. (2010). Detecting social networks: Design and analysis of multilevel experiments. Paper presented at the Third Annual Center for Experimental Social Science and New York University Experimental Political Science Conference, February 5–6, 2010.Google Scholar
  12. Panagopoulos, C. (2010). Affect, social pressure and prosocial motivation: Field experimental evidence of the mobilizing effects of pride, shame and publicizing voting behavior. Political Behavior, forthcoming. doi:10.1007/s11109-010-9114-0.
  13. Plutzer, E. (2002). Becoming a habitual voter: Inertia, resources, and growth in young adulthood. American Political Science Review, 96(1), 41–56.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tiffany C. Davenport
    • 1
  • Alan S. Gerber
    • 1
  • Donald P. Green
    • 1
  • Christopher W. Larimer
    • 2
  • Christopher B. Mann
    • 3
  • Costas Panagopoulos
    • 4
  1. 1.Yale UniversityNew HavenUSA
  2. 2.University of Northern IowaCeder FallsUSA
  3. 3.University of MiamiMiamiUSA
  4. 4.Fordham UniversityBronxUSA

Personalised recommendations