Am 04. und 05. November 2022 fand der Toronto Political Behaviour Workshop an der Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy der University of Toronto statt. Tatjana Brütting präsentierte dort ein Poster zu ihrer aktuellen Forschung mit dem Titel "An (Im)perfect Match - Experiment on the Effects of Contradictory Information on the Evaluation of Politicians".
The influence of information on voting decisions is becoming increasingly relevant. The reasons for this are both the high density of information provided by various media sources and the decline in society's traditional party ties. Especially contradictory information of different media sources could be used and is used to create mistrust among voters. Research shows that different mechanisms are used to process contradictory information, for example, in such a way that it is consistent with one's beliefs. Ultimately, the influence of contradictory information on people's attitudes also depends on these mechanisms.
This study examines via an experimental design which impact contradictory information has when information mediators such as party candidates contradict their parties. Since candidates are expected to be in line with their parties, it is particularly interesting to find out what effect differences between those actors have on the evaluation of candidates and their parties.
The online experiment with 2238 German citizens recruited through Respondi, took place in May and June of 2022. After completing a questionnaire on political attitudes, the respondents were divided in different experimental and control groups (15 pairs of two politicians of 6 different parties). On an information selection board, the respondents could select contradictory and non-contradictory, role related and non-role related information about two politicians. For a manipulation check, the information was also pre-tested among Respondi samples (n= 200 & n = 300).
After the information selection task, the respondents evaluated the politicians on different dimensions, ranging from assertiveness, competence, morality and warmth to party compatibility and an overall feeling thermometer.
First findings show effects of one’s own political orientation and self-assessment as well as number of selected contradictory information on perceived party compatibility of politicians. Further analyses are currently conducted.