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Field Experiment, Politics, and Culture: Testing Social Psychological Theories regarding Social Norms Using a Field Experiment in Japan

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Abstract:

We conducted a randomized field experiment in Japan prior to the 2007 upper house election. Our experimental treatment consisted of 2 pieces of mail, which were mailed to reach voters 5 days and 3 days before the election. Drawing from studies of descriptive norms in psychology, which find people adjust their behaviors to conform to what others typically do, we created two messages. One emphasized the descriptive norm of a high rate of citizen participation, which we call "high turnout message", or HTO. The other message suggested non-voting was common, which we call "low turnout message", or LTO. Voters assigned to one treatment group received 2 pieces of HTO mails, while those assigned to the other treatment group received 2 pieces of LTO mails. Consistent with our expectation, the effect of HTO mails on voter turnout was positive and statistically significant. The LTO mails were positively associated with turnout, yet the effect was not statistically significant. While there have been many field experiments measuring the effect of voter mobilization efforts in the United States, this method of research has been employed only rarely in other countries. This is one of the first studies in the Japanese context.

Most Common Document Word Stems:

turnout (152), precinct (60), group (58), norm (52), vote (52), mail (52), voter (50), effect (49), elect (47), model (43), high (43), 1 (42), messag (38), low (35), descript (34), 2 (33), column (33), variabl (32), report (30), polit (30), treatment (29),

Author's Keywords:

Turnout, Mobilization, Experiment, Election, Japan
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Association:
Name: Midwest Political Science Association 67th Annual National Conference
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http://www.indiana.edu/~mpsa/


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URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p361898_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Yamada, Kyohei. and gerber, alan. "Field Experiment, Politics, and Culture: Testing Social Psychological Theories regarding Social Norms Using a Field Experiment in Japan" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association 67th Annual National Conference, The Palmer House Hilton, Chicago, IL, Apr 02, 2009 <Not Available>. 2014-11-29 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p361898_index.html>

APA Citation:

Yamada, K. and gerber, a. , 2009-04-02 "Field Experiment, Politics, and Culture: Testing Social Psychological Theories regarding Social Norms Using a Field Experiment in Japan" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association 67th Annual National Conference, The Palmer House Hilton, Chicago, IL Online <PDF>. 2014-11-29 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p361898_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: We conducted a randomized field experiment in Japan prior to the 2007 upper house election. Our experimental treatment consisted of 2 pieces of mail, which were mailed to reach voters 5 days and 3 days before the election. Drawing from studies of descriptive norms in psychology, which find people adjust their behaviors to conform to what others typically do, we created two messages. One emphasized the descriptive norm of a high rate of citizen participation, which we call "high turnout message", or HTO. The other message suggested non-voting was common, which we call "low turnout message", or LTO. Voters assigned to one treatment group received 2 pieces of HTO mails, while those assigned to the other treatment group received 2 pieces of LTO mails. Consistent with our expectation, the effect of HTO mails on voter turnout was positive and statistically significant. The LTO mails were positively associated with turnout, yet the effect was not statistically significant. While there have been many field experiments measuring the effect of voter mobilization efforts in the United States, this method of research has been employed only rarely in other countries. This is one of the first studies in the Japanese context.


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