Issue framing in online voting advice applications: The effect of left-wing and right-wing headers on reported attitudes

Naomi Kamoen, Jasper Van de Pol, Andre Krouwel, C.H. de Vreese, Bregje Holleman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Voting Advice Applications (VAAs) provide voting recommendations to millions of people. As these voting recommendations are based on users’ answers to attitude questions, the framing of these questions can have far-reaching consequences. The current study reports on a field experiment in which the framing of the header above VAA statements (N = 17) was manipulated (condition 1: no header; condition 2: a right-wing header, e.g., finance; condition 3: a left-wing header, e.g., nature and environment). Visitors of a VAA developed for Utrecht, the fourth largest municipality in the Netherlands, were randomly guided to one of the versions of the tool in which the header type was varied. Results (based on Nrespondents = 27,404) show that providing a header (left-wing or right-wing) leads to more left-wing answers as compared a condition where there is no header above the attitude statement. This effect, however, is only observed for respondents with lower levels of political sophistication.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPLoS ONE
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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