The Minnesota Multi-Investigator 2012 Presidential Election Panel Study
We are grateful to the Center for the Study of Political Psychology at the University of Minnesota, and especially to Center director Joanne Miller, for the Center's generous financial support of the multi-investigator 2012 Presidential election panel study.
We also would like to extend our collective gratitude to Tom Lindsay and Andrew Sell in the Office of Technology, College of Liberal Arts, for their diligent and creative programming efforts on behalf of this project; we simply would not have been able to pull off this effort in such a short time frame without their assistance. We also are grateful to our colleague, Chris Federico, for his helpful statistical advice.
In an analysis of the 2012 presidential election, we sought to optimize two key desiderata in capturing campaign effects: establishing causality and measuring dynamic (i.e., intraindividual) change over time. We first report the results of three survey-experiments embedded within a three-wave survey panel design. Each experiment was focused on a substantive area of electoral concern. Our results suggest, among other findings, that retrospective evaluations exerted a stronger influence on vote choice in the referendum (vs. the choice) frame; that among White respondents, racial animosity strongly predicted economic evaluations for knowledgeable Republicans who were led to believe that positive economic developments were the result of actions taken by the Obama administration; and that information-seeking bias is a contingent phenomenon, one depending jointly on the opportunity and motivation to selectively tune in to congenial information. Lastly, we demonstrate how the panel design also allowed us to (1) examine the reliability and stability of a variety of election-related implicit attitudes, and to assess their impact on candidate evaluation; and (2) determine the causal impact of perceptions of candidates’ traits and respondents’ policy preferences on electoral preferences, and vice versa, an area of research long plagued by concerns about endogeneity.
Disclaimer: Supplementary materials have been peer-reviewed but not copyedited.
Online Appendix: WAVES ONE, TWO, AND THREE (Items appear in order that respondents viewed them).
Please note: The publisher is not responsible for the content or functionality of any supporting information supplied by the authors. Any queries (other than missing content) should be directed to the corresponding author for the article.
- 1995). Going negative: How political advertising shrinks and polarizes the electorate. New York, NY: Free Press.
- 2013). Candidate trait evaluations in the 2013 Presidential election. Paper Presented at the CSPP Multi-Investigator Panel Study Symposium, April 26, 2013.
- 2008). Predicting the vote: Implicit attitudes as predictors of the future behavior of decided and undecided Voters. Political Psychology, 29(3), 369–387.
- 2012). Evaluating online labor markets for experimental research: Amazon.com's Mechanical Turk. Political Analysis, 20(3), 351–368.
- 2013). Implicit and explicit measurement approaches to research on policy implementation: The case of race-based disparities in criminal justice. PS: Political Science & Politics, 46(03), 532–536.
- 2006). Capturing campaign effects. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press.
- 2011). Amazon's Mechanical Turk: A new source of inexpensive, yet high-quality, data? Perspectives on Psychological Science, 6(1), 3–5.
- 1982). The need for cognition. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 42, 116–131.
- 1960). The American Voter. New York, NY: Wiley.
- 2013). Motivated reasoning, selective exposure, and cognitive style in information search and attitude formation. Paper Presented at the CSPP Multi-Investigator Panel Study Symposium, April 26, 2013.
- 2013). Racial spillover effects on evaluations of the economy. Paper Presented at the CSPP Multi-Investigator Panel Study Symposium, April 26, 2013.
- 2001). Implicit attitude measures: Consistency, stability, and convergent validity. Psychological Science, 12(2), 163–170.
- 1992). Motivated skepticism: Use of differential decision criteria for preferred and non-preferred conclusions. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 63(4), 568–584.
- 1957). An economic theory of democracy. New York, NY: Harper & Row.
- 2012). The timeline of presidential elections: How campaigns do (and do not) matter. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
- 2008). Dual-processing accounts of reasoning, judgment, and social cognition. Annual Review of Psychology, 59(1), 255–278.
- 2010). Voter affect and the 2008 U.S. presidential election: Hope and race mattered. Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy, 10, 262–275.
- 1981). Retrospective voting in American National Elections. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.
- 2002). A model of (often mixed) stereotype content: Competence and warmth respectively follow from perceived status and competition. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 82(6), 878–902.
- 2012). Do implicit attitudes predict actual voting behavior particularly for undecided voters? PLoS ONE, 7(8), e44130. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0044130
- 2007). Predicting voting behavior with implicit attitude measures. Experimental Psychology, 54(4), 247–255.
- 2008). Automatic mental associations predict future choices of undecided decision-makers. Science, 321(5892), 1100–1102.
- 1993). Why are American presidential election campaign polls so variable when votes are so predictable? British Journal of Political Science, 23(04), 409–451.
- 1996). “Race Coding” and White Opposition to Welfare. American Political Science Review, 90(3), 593–604.
- 1999). Why Americans hate welfare. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
- 2013). How and why implicit attitudes should affect voting. PS: Political Science & Politics, 46(03), 537–544.
- 1998). Measuring individual differences in implicit cognition: The implicit association test. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 74(6), 1464–1480.
- 2009). Implicit race attitudes predicted vote in the 2008 U.S. Presidential Election. Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy, 9(1), 241–253.
- 2005). Candidate qualities through a partisan lens: A theory of trait ownership. American Journal of Political Science, 49(4), 908–923.
- 1982). The dynamics of political support for American presidents among occupational and partisan groups. American Journal of Political Science, 26(2), 312–332.
- 2009). Red media, blue media: Evidence of ideological selectivity in media use. Journal of Communication, 59(1), 19–39.
- 2008). Selective exposure to campaign communication: The role of anticipated agreement and issue public membership. The Journal of Politics, 70(1), 186–200.
- 1996). The need to evaluate. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 70, 172–194.
- 2009). The 2008 presidential and congressional elections: Anti-Bush referendum and prospects for the Democratic majority. Political Science Quarterly, 124(1), 1–30.
- 1966). The responsible electorate: Rationality in presidential voting, 1936–1960. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
- 2012). End of race? Obama, 2008, and racial politics in America. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.
- 1996). Divided by color: Racial politics and democratic ideals. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
- 1989). Lay epistemics and human knowledge: Cognitive and motivational bases. New York, NY: Plenum Press.
- 1996). Motivated closing of the mind: “Seizing” and “freezing.” Psychological review (Vol. 103). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
- 2013). An introduction to implicit attitudes in political science research. PS: Political Science & Politics, 46(03), 525–531.
- 2013). Stability, reliability, and unique effects of implicit and explicit political attitudes in the 2012 presidential election. Paper Presented at the CSPP Multi-Investigator Panel Study Symposium, April 26, 2013.
- 1990). The case for motivated reasoning. Psychological Bulletin, 108(3), 480–498.
- 2008). Reassessing the role of anxiety in vote choice. Political Psychology, 29(2), 275–296.
- 2007). Understanding and using the implicit association test: IV. What we know (so far) about the method. In B. Wittenbrink & N. Schwartz (Eds.), Implicit measures of attitudes (pp. 59–102). New York: The Guilford Press.
- 2012). The ambivalent partisan: How critical loyalty promotes democracy. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
- 1996). Cognitive processing and the functional matching effect in persuasion: The mediating role of subjective perceptions of message quality. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 32(6), 580–604.
- 1948. The people's choice: How the voter makes up his mind in a presidential campaign. New York, NY: Columbia University Press.
- 2008). The reliability and stability of general media exposure measures. Communication Methods and Measures, 2(1–2), 6–22.
- 2009). Learning and opinion change, not priming: Reconsidering the priming hypothesis. American Journal of Political Science, 53(4), 821–837.
- 2012). Follow the Leader? How Voters Respond to Politicians’ Performance and Policies. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
- 1979). Biased assimilation and attitude polarizations: The effects of prior theories on subsequently considered evidence. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 37(11), 2098–2109.
- 2013). Choice or referendum? Framing the 2012 Presidential election. Paper Presented at the CSPP Multi-Investigator Panel Study Symposium, April 26, 2013.
- 2012). Conducting behavioral research on Amazon's Mechanical Turk. Behavior Research Methods, 44, 1–23.
- 2001). The race card: Campaign strategy, implicit messages, and the norm of equality. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
- 2012). Democratic Nomination Acceptance Address. 2012 Democratic National Convention. Charlotte, NC. Retrieved September, 6, 2012 from http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=101968
- 1980). The mass media election: How Americans choose their president. New York: Praeger.
- 2009). Implicit and explicit prejudice in the 2008 American presidential election. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 46(2010), 367–374.
- 2010). You've either got it or you don't? The stability of political interest over the life cycle. The Journal of Politics, 72(03), 747–766.
- 2010). Predicting the vote through implicit and explicit attitudes: A field research. Political Psychology, 31(2), 249–274.
- 2012). Florida Republican Primary Victory Address. Tampa, FL. Retrieved January 31, 2012 from http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=99159
- 2013). The gamble: High rollers. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
- 2012). In FiveThirtyEight Retrieved November 11, 2013, from http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/09/07/sept-6-a-referendum-or-a-choice/.
- 2008). Media use and political predispositions: Revisiting the concept of selective exposure. Political Behavior, 30(3), 341–366.
- 2006). Motivated skepticism in the evaluation of political beliefs. American Journal of Political Science, 50(3), 755–769.
- 2012). The spillover of racialization into health care: How president Obama polarized public opinion by racial attitudes and race. American Journal of Political Science, 56(3), 690–704.
- 2010). Obama's race: The 2008 election and the dream of a post-racial America. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
- 2009). The message matters: the economy and presidential campaigns. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
- 1994). Individual differences in need for cognitive closure. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 67(6), 1049–1062.
- 1970). The estimation of measurement error in panel data. American Sociological Review, 35(1), 112–117.
- B. Wittenbrink, & N. Schwarz (Eds.) (2007). Implicit measures of attitudes. New York: The Guilford Press.
- 2012). Democratic accountability and retrospective voting: A laboratory experiment. American Journal of Political Science, 56(4), 913–930.