Tuesday Seminar – 14 September

Follow mainly the leader? An experimental study of the relative impact of parties on opinion formation

Fernando Feitosa (McGill University) 
Jennifer Oser (Ben-Gurion University) 
Nir Grinberg (Ben-Gurion University)

Prior work convincingly demonstrates that Americans follow the policy positions of parties with whom they identify. However, not much research investigates the relative impact of parties on opinion formation. More specifically, are parties the main source of opinion formation in the United States, or are there more influential sources? This study will provide an answer to this question by means of a survey experiment, which will be conducted as a survey module within the framework of the 2021 Cooperative Election Study. In this experiment, individuals will be exposed to information about a salient policy (the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines among developing countries) with the endorsement from either a) a politician from the Democratic or the Republican Party or b) a friend who identifies with Democratic or the Republican Party. The results from this study will provide important knowledge on the relative power of parties in shaping opinion formation in the United States.

Contact Semih Çakır if you would like to participate in the seminar.

This content has been updated on 17 December 2021 at 2 h 20 min.