Party or Policy? Testing the Elaboration Likelihood Model in the context of voting
In this study, I experimentally tested if the Elaboration Likelihood Model applies to a voting context. Participants rated their likelihood to vote for hypothetical candidates where the candidates’ associated policy and party affiliation were both manipulated. Participants also completed a quiz as a measure of their political sophistication. As expected, those who demonstrated high political sophistication used policy information more often when rating candidates. Contrary to expectations, there was no evidence that low politically sophisticated individuals used party cues more often to guide their ratings of candidates. The findings provide partial support for the Elaboration Likelihood Model, and future adaptations to the experimental design are discussed.