This study was implemented during two local elections for county legislature during the 2010 general election in the U.S. Registered voters who had participated in the last 3 party primaries were randomly assigned into three groups—one to receive a positive message about the candidate, one to receive a negative message about the opponent, and one as control (which received no messaging). The messages were delivered by mail, and also provided the individual with the option of donating to the campaign.
The authors recruited an online national sample (N=1,035) of Black and Latino respondents in May 2013. Respondents were then randomly assigned to read one of three version of a news article about charges of ethics violations against U.S. Congressman Charlie Rangel. In the control condition, respondents were given no information about Rangel’s racial background.
Brief 53: Fostering Inclusionary Behavior towards Syrian Refugees through Perspective-Taking: Evidence from the United States
The perspective-taking exercise was conducted in an online survey of a nationally representative sample of 5,400 American adults. The survey was fielded in the two weeks leading up to the 2016 presidential election, in which policies related to immigrants and refugees were a major point of contention. In addition to the perspective-taking condition, the survey experiment included two other randomly assigned treatment conditions: an information-only group and a pure control group.
To test the ways in which politicians influence public opinion, the authors conduct two studies. The structures of the two studies are nearly identical. The authors partner with state legislators in a Midwestern state and identify contentious policy positions that they hold (support for tax increases or support for undocumented immigrants, for example). Next, they conduct interviews with a randomly selected sample of constituents to identify their opinions on these issues.