Institut for Statskundskab

Online Tallies and the Context of Politics: How Online Tallies Make Dominant Candidates Appear Competent in Contexts of Conflict

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DOI

In this article, we extend the classical notion of online tallies to shed light on the psychology underlying the rapid emergence of dominant political leaders. Predicated on two population-based panel surveys with embedded experiments, we demonstrate that citizens (1) store extremely durable tallies of candidate personalities in their long-term memory and (2) retrieve different tallies depending on the context. In particular, we predict and demonstrate that when contexts become more conflict-ridden, candidate evaluations rapidly shift from being negatively to positively associated with online impressions of candidate dominance. Although the notion of online tallies was originally proposed as an explanation of why citizens are able to vote for candidates on the basis of policy agreement, we demonstrate how the existence of context-sensitive online tallies can favor dominant candidates, even if the candidate is otherwise unappealing or does not share policy views with citizens on key issues.

OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftAmerican Journal of Political Science
Vol/bind64
Nummer2
Sider (fra-til)240-255
Antal sider16
ISSN0092-5853
DOI
StatusUdgivet - 2020

    Forskningsområder

  • candidate evaluations, Candidate traits, Online Processing, Dominance, Conflict, Leadership

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