I get it! Comprehension difficulties in answering political attitude statements in Voting Advice Applications

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talkScientific


Political knowledge and feelings of political competence are essential for political participation (Delli Carpini & Keeter, 1996). Voting Advice Applications (VAAs) aim to contribute to that. In a VAA, users respond to a set of attitude statements about political issues, such as “Dog tax should be increased” or “The Netherlands should build a new nuclear power plant”. Based on a comparison between the users’ answers and the parties’ issue positions, the VAA subsequently provides a voting advice.
While VAAs have demonstratable positive effects on several aspects of democratic citizenship, such as political knowledge (Schultze, 2014) and electoral turnout (Gemenis & Rosema, 2014), a research question that is often overlooked is whether VAA users understand the attitude statements form the basis for the voting advice. Using qualitative and quantitative research methodologies, I will provide an insight in what question characteristics affect the comprehensibility of attitude statements in Voting Advice Applications. Moreover, I will reflect on the response behavior VAA users expose when comprehension difficulties occur and make a suggestion for how modern technologies such as chatbots may provide a (partial) solution to solving these issues.
Period22 Apr 2022
Event titleAnela Junioerndag
Event typeConference
LocationLeiden, NetherlandsShow on map


  • Voting Advice Applications
  • Comprehension