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선거 여론조사 결과 발표가 투표의향에 미치는 영향에 관한 연구 - 개인의 정보처리 동기와 능력을 중심으로
The Influence of Election Polls on Voting Intention -An Examination of the Role of Individuals Motivation and Ability

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    The present study examines whether exposure to public opinion polls leads to attitude formation and change, depending on individuals motivation and ability. This study also identifies the contingent con?itions under which individuals are more or less likely to be influ?nced by poll results. In this study, it is expected that an individual"s motivation (e. g., strength of candidate preference) and ability (e. g., knowledge about poll concepts) are related to the extent to which the individual is influenced by public opinion polls. In this study, a unique data set was used for the secondary analysis. The data were collected by the Survey Lab at Northwestern University, utilizing a two-wave panel survey during the 1988 election campaigns. In this survey, an experimental variation was employed during the pre-election interview, providing a unique opportunity to test the impact of polls on attitude change in a non-laboratory setting. For a random half of those interviewed, interviewers first told the respondent which presidential candidate was leading in the most recent polls being reported by the news media and then asked the respondent for whom he or she would vote. For the other random half, interviewers simply asked about voting intentions without mentioning recent poll results. The results at the aggregate level indicated that there was no significant difference in the gross effect of experimental stimulus between the control and experimental group. Since it was possible that the insignificant role of the experimental stimulus could be due to the two countervailing effects - bandwagon and underdog effects?ccurring at the same time. additional analyses were conducted. To disentangle the simultaneous occurrences of the bandwagon/underdog effect, respondents attitude changes within the experimental group was examined using discriminant analysis. Based on the results of discriminant analysis, comparisons were made between the predicted voting intention and the actual voting intention for respondents in the experimental condition. The statistical significance of the difference in two percentages was measured by conducting a nonparametric bi?omial test. The results showed that the magnitude of the bandwag?n effect was greater than the underdog effect. As a next step, further analyses were conducted to examine the role of ability and motivation as moderators. All respondents in the experimental condition were divided into strong supporters vs, weak/moderate supporters depending on their attitude strengths toward their candidate of choice, and into knowledgeable and not know1?dgeable groups depending on whether they had answered questions on the concept of margin of error correctly. The analysis results indicate that individuals attitudes toward candidates can be influenced by public opinion polls reported in the mass media. Individuals level of commitment for a candidate was a significant factor determining the extent to which they are influenced by poll results. The results illustrate that respondents levels of know1?dge about polling methodology do not make much difference in the extent they are influenced by poll information.


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