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Interdisciplinary Seminar in Quantitative Methods (ISQM) pres.

Interdisciplinary Seminar in Quantitative Methods (ISQM)

Ben Lauderdale (University College London)

Ben Lauderdale Ben Lauderdale
Ben Lauderdale
Professor Lauderdale will present his working paper "The Emergence of Stable Political Choices from Incomplete Political Preferences” which uses a panel conjoint experiment to look at the stability of self-reported issue positions and issue-based candidate choices over time.

Abstract: "Survey research finds that citizens often give temporally unstable responses when asked their positions on policy issues, indicating a lack of 'real' attitudes on many issues. For some, this casts doubt on prominent conceptions of democracy that involve citizens making political choices based on policy considerations. In this paper, we show that despite average instability in issue opinions, voters can nevertheless make meaningful, stable multidimensional political choices based on issue considerations. We draw on a new three-wave survey of the UK public that includes repeated measurements of issue-specific opinions and of the political choices respondents make when confronted with hypothetical candidates taking positions on those issues. We show that candidate choices made after 6 months and 12 months have nearly as strong relationships to self-reported issue positions as do the candidate choices made in the same wave as those self-reports, and that choice stability is high when respondents choose between candidates who take clear and contrasting positions on the issues that respondents tend to care more about. Our findings demonstrate the mechanics underlying long-hypothesized theories of 'issue publics': stable political choices can arise from individuals making choices on the basis of the issues that they care about, even when most people lack real attitudes on many issues.”

The goal of the Interdisciplinary Seminar in Quantitative Methods is to provide an interdisciplinary environment where researchers can present and discuss cutting-edge research in quantitative methodology. The talks are aimed at a broad audience, with emphasis on conceptual rather than technical issues. The research presented is varied, ranging from new methodological developments to applied empirical papers that use methodology in an innovative way. We welcome speakers and audiences from all disciplines and fields, including the social, natural, biomedical, and behavioral sciences.
Ben Lauderdale Ben Lauderdale
Ben Lauderdale

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