Cognitive dissonance theory predicts that the act of voting for a
leads to a more favorable opinion of the candidate in the
future. We find support for the empirical relevance of cognitive dissonance
to political attitudes. We examine the presidential opinion
ratings of voting-age eligibles and ineligibles two years after the president's
election. We find that eligibles show two to three times greater
polarization of opinions than comparable ineligibles. We find smaller
effects when we compare polarization in opinions of senators elected
during high turnout presidential campaign years with senators elected
during nonpresidential campaign years. (JEL D72)
Mullainathan, Sendhil, and Ebonya Washington.
"Sticking with Your Vote: Cognitive Dissonance and Political Attitudes."
American Economic Journal: Applied Economics,
Models of Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior