University of Twente Student Theses


Het effect van stemadviesapplicaties op de impliciete en expliciete politieke attitude.

Sanders, Robbert-Jan (2013) Het effect van stemadviesapplicaties op de impliciete en expliciete politieke attitude.

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Abstract:During the Dutch elections voting aid applications (vaa’s), like Kieskompas and Stemwijzer, are being used by millions of people. There is a scientific discussion about the impact of the vaa’s on the voters final choice and their potential impact on the election results. The discussion focusses on the limitations of the methodology used in research of the effects /impact on voting behavior. The explicit political attitude and (self-reported) attitude changes caused by vaa’s have been examined in a direct (explicit) fashion in previous studies. The critique concerning these methods is that they are not sufficient to measure subtle attitude changes. Therefore in this current research other methods are being used to measure attitude changes. In order to do this a distinction has been made between the implicit and explicit political attitude. This leads to the following research question: What is the impact of the voting aid applications on the implicit and explicit political attitude? To measure the impact of the vaa’s on the explicit attitude, the motivation of the users to follow the recommendation has been studied. From the perspective of the elaboration likelihood model, the motivation to cognitively absorb information is crucial for strong attitude changes. The implicit attitude is measured by the Implicit Association Test (IAT). The implicit attitude is the automated attitude-object evaluation and is a subconscious mental process. Because the automated attitude-object evaluation is subconscious, it is harder for the respondent (or the researcher) to influence this process. As shown in a study by Greenwald (1998), by using this test even socially unacceptable preferences can be show. However this test is not designed to measure attitude changes and was adapted to do so in this study. The IAT was used in a pre- post-test research design to compare the initial implicit attitude with the implicit attitude after using a vaa. In this study 84 people participated. The results of the study show that the influence on the implicit and explicit political attitude is limited. Most of the respondents were not motivated to follow the recommendation of the vaa’s. The self-reported likelihood of following the recommendation when a different party then the existing preference was suggested was very low. There was however, a clear distinction between respondents with a clear political preference and the undecided voters. The undecided voters are significantly more motivated to follow the recommendation of the programs. For a small group of undecided voters the recommendation from the vaa’s was the most important factor to base their vote on. This means that on an individual level the vaa’s can influence a voters decision. The question remains A few limitations have been found using the IAT as a reliable measure for implicit attitude change. Because of the limitation only a considerable impact on the implicit political attitude by the vaa’s could be measured. However the results of the IAT confirm the findings of the explicit measurements.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:05 communication studies
Programme:Communication Studies MSc (60713)
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