ERIC Number: ED214223
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Comparative Evaluation of Political Candidates: Implications for the Voter Decision Making Process.
Hellweg, Susan A.; King, Stephen W.
A study was conducted to examine the evaluative criteria or schemata that voters use in making decisions about competing candidates. More specifically, the study sought to determine (1) whether the criteria that voters employ differ between the candidates, and (2) the relative importance of various candidate-specific criteria in the voting decision process. It was hypothesized that, in contrast to the traditional view of a unitary voter decision process, with one candidate compared to another using a general standard criterion for candidate acceptability, there existed multiple criteria unique to each candidate as part of the evaluative process. The 277 undergraduate students in the study were given 29 credibility scales to complete in response to the 1980 United States Presidential candidates Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan, an ideality scale for each, and a projected voter behavior scale. Data emerging from the research were submitted to factor analysis and discriminant analysis. The results of the study supported the idea of unique criteria being employed in the evaluation of each individual candidate, suggesting a more complex model of voting behavior than the traditional view previously advanced. (RL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Political Candidates
Note: Paper presented at the Meeting of the Western Political Science Association (San Diego, CA, March 1982).