• information search;
  • decision-making;
  • process-tracing;
  • voting

Learning about political candidates before voting can be a cognitively taxing task, given that the information environment of a campaign may be chaotic and complicated. In response, voters may adopt decision strategies that guide their processing of campaign information. This paper reports results from a series of process-tracing experiments designed to learn how voters in a presidential primary election adopt and use such strategies. Different voters adopt different strategies, with the choice of strategy dependent on the campaign environment and individual voter characteristics. The adoption of particular strategies can have implications for how voters evaluate candidates.