Title
The first one wins : distilling the primacy effect
Author
Faculty/Department
Faculty of Social Sciences. Political Sciences
Publication type
article
Publication
Guildford ,
Subject
Politics
Mass communications
Source (journal)
Electoral studies. - Guildford
Volume/pages
44(2016) , p. 245-254
ISSN
0261-3794
Carrier
E
Target language
English (eng)
Full text (Publishers DOI)
Affiliation
University of Antwerp
Abstract
Research has shown that in proportional, flexible list systems, ballot list position influences electoral success. In this paper we investigate to what extent this is due to the primacy effect, a psychological bias towards the first option in a list. We also examine alternative explanations such as the electoral beneficial traits these candidates share and extra media coverage they receive. Using data from the 2014 Belgian elections, we find that candidates with higher ballot list positions indeed score better because they have more political experience and receive more media attention. We also find strong evidence for the primacy effect which is caused by a confirmation bias as well as ballot list position being the easiest heuristic for voters.
Handle