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Predicting the Vote through Implicit and Explicit Attitudes: A Field Research



Using the data collected by Itanes on a sample of the Italian population, representative according to the main sociodemographic variables, we analyzed the relations between voting intention, explicit and implicit political attitudes, and voting behavior. Participants (N = 1,377) were interviewed twice, both before and after the 2006 Italian National Election. The implicit attitudes (measured using the IAT) were substantially as effective as voting intention, and more effective than the explicit attitudes towards the main Italian political leaders, in forecasting the Election official results. When used to predict participants' voting behavior, the IAT added a significant, although slight, power to voting intention and explicit attitude. Inconsistency between explicit and implicit attitudes exerted a negative influence on the probability of having decided one's voting behavior in the preelectoral poll; however, among undecided participants, it did not significantly influence the probability of delaying one's voting decision and that of actually casting a valid vote. Limits and possible developments of this research are discussed.