Monthly Archives: November 2010

An Experiment Testing the Relative Effectiveness of Encouraging Voter Participation by Inducing Feelings of Pride or Shame

The “shame” treatment raised turnout by +6.3 percentage points; the “pride” treatment raised turnout by +4.0 percentage points. We already know from Gerber et al. (2008) that social pressure can boost voter turnout. As part of Political Behavior‘s special issue on social pressure and turnout (read some background), Gerber et al. join forces again with […]

Is There Backlash to Social Pressure? A Large-scale Field Experiment on Voter Mobilization

Mike Lee sent Republican voters their neighbors’ turnout records, hoping that Republicans would use this information to mobilize one another to vote. Instead, he was accused of unethically violating voter privacy In 2008, Gerber et al. published a pioneering study of mobilization. Using heavy-handed tactics, they found that they could shame people into voting (read […]

Affect, Social Pressure and Prosocial Motivation: Field Experimental Evidence of the Mobilizing Effects of Pride, Shame, and Publicizing Voting Behavior

Most places give out “I voted” stickers to honor voters. Perhaps a scarlet letter on non-voters would work better. Suppose a local newspaper planned to honor those who vote by listing their names in a post-election issue. Would you be more likely to vote? Now, suppose a local newspaper planned to shame those who stayed […]