Predicting the Vote: Implicit Attitudes as Predictors of the Future Behavior of Decided and Undecided Voters

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Abstract

Two studies assessed the predictive validity of implicit political attitudes in relation to voting behavior. In Study 1, we demonstrated the validity of the adopted measure (i.e., the IAT; Greenwald, McGhee, & Schwartz, 1998) with a sample of voters who clearly sided with one of the opposing parties. In Study 2, implicit political preferences were measured in a sample of undecided voters one month before the election, and actual voting behavior was assessed immediately after the election. Results demonstrated that implicit political attitudes were good predictors of future voting behaviors. These findings support the hypothesis of the presence of embryonic attitudes even in the case of those voters who at the explicit and conscious level deny any preference for one of the two opposing candidates.

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