Descriptive Social Norms and Motivation to Vote: Everybody's Voting and so Should You

  title={Descriptive Social Norms and Motivation to Vote: Everybody's Voting and so Should You},
  author={Alan S. Gerber and Todd Rogers},
  journal={The Journal of Politics},
  pages={178 - 191}
The fact that many citizens fail to vote is often cited to motivate others to vote. Psychological research on descriptive social norms suggests that emphasizing the opposite—that many do vote—would be a more effective message. In two get-out-the-vote field experiments, we find that messages emphasizing low expected turnout are less effective at motivating voters than messages emphasizing high expected turnout. The findings suggest that descriptive social norms affect vote intention only among… 
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