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Measuring Voter Decision Strategies in Political Behavior and Public Opinion Research

Lau, Richard R and Kleinberg, Mona S and Ditonto, Tessa M (2018) 'Measuring Voter Decision Strategies in Political Behavior and Public Opinion Research.', Public Opinion Quarterly, 82 (S1). pp. 911-936.


Although political science has advanced the study of voter decision-making, the discipline still understands very little about how citizens go about reaching those decisions. In this article, we introduce a five-factor self-report scale of political decision-making (PolDec-5) administered to six different samples with more than 6,500 respondents over the past four years. Analyses illustrate that our five subscales—Rational Choice, Confirmatory, Fast and Frugal, Heuristic-Based, and Going with Your Gut—have high internal consistency, relatively high discriminant validity (as they are largely distinct from existing measures of decision-making style), and significantly high predictive validity, as established by process tracing studies where actual decision strategies of voters can be observed directly. Finally, we discuss how these new measures can help predict important political outcomes.

Item Type:Article
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Publisher statement:This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in Public Opinion Quarterly following peer review. The version of record Lau, Richard R, Kleinberg, Mona S & Ditonto, Tessa M (2018). Measuring Voter Decision Strategies in Political Behavior and Public Opinion Research. Public Opinion Quarterly 82(S1): 911-936. is available online at:
Date accepted:No date available
Date deposited:15 October 2021
Date of first online publication:22 March 2018
Date first made open access:15 October 2021

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