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Article
Sources of Bias in Voter Expectations under Proportional Representation
Journal of Elections, Public Opinion and Parties (2007)
  • Renan Levine, University of Toronto
Abstract

Recent studies have found that voters use information about the latest polls when generating expectations about election outcomes. Even though many respondents to the 2002 Dutch Parliamentary Election Study can recall the latest polls accurately to within a few seats, voters' recollections are imperfect. Using a two-stage least squares regression analysis, we find that partisan wishful thinking inflates the number of seats the respondent thinks the party received in the latest polls, indirectly increasing the number of seats the respondent predicts the party will win on election day. These partisan biases also exert a separate, direct effect on predictions. These biased expectations were not mitigated by increased levels of political knowledge. We conclude that wishful thinking among Dutch voters has a strong cognitive component based on biased recall of information.

Keywords
  • Voting behavior,
  • expectations,
  • election predictions,
  • wishful thinking,
  • proportional representation,
  • 2002 Tweede Kamer Election
Disciplines
Publication Date
October, 2007
Citation Information
Renan Levine. "Sources of Bias in Voter Expectations under Proportional Representation" Journal of Elections, Public Opinion and Parties Vol. 17 Iss. 3 (2007)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/renan/2/