IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/jdm/journl/v12y2017i2p173-182.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Memory retrieval processes help explain the incumbency advantage

Author

Listed:
  • Anna Katharina Spälti
  • Mark J. Brandt
  • Marcel Zeelenberg

Abstract

Voters prefer political candidates who are currently in office (incumbents) over new candidates (challengers). Using the premise of query theory (Johnson, Häubl & Keinan, 2007), we clarify the underlying cognitive mechanisms by asking whether memory retrieval sequences affect political decision making. Consistent with predictions, Experiment 1 (N = 256) replicated the incumbency advantage and showed that participants tended to first query information about the incumbent. Experiment 2 (N = 427) showed that experimentally manipulating participants’ query order altered the strength of the incumbency advantage. Experiment 3 (N = 713) replicated Experiment 1 and, in additional experimental conditions, showed that the effects of incumbency can be overridden by more valid cues, like the candidates’ ideology. Participants queried information about ideologically similar candidates earlier and also preferred these ideologically similar candidates. This is initial evidence for a cognitive, memory-retrieval process underling the incumbency advantage and political decision making.

Suggested Citation

  • Anna Katharina Spälti & Mark J. Brandt & Marcel Zeelenberg, 2017. "Memory retrieval processes help explain the incumbency advantage," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 12(2), pages 173-182, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:jdm:journl:v:12:y:2017:i:2:p:173-182
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://journal.sjdm.org/16/16920a/jdm16920a.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: http://journal.sjdm.org/16/16920a/jdm16920a.html
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Samuelson, William & Zeckhauser, Richard, 1988. "Status Quo Bias in Decision Making," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 7-59, March.
    2. Quattrone, George A. & Tversky, Amos, 1988. "Contrasting Rational and Psychological Analyses of Political Choice," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 82(3), pages 719-736, September.
    3. Kahneman, Daniel & Knetsch, Jack L & Thaler, Richard H, 1990. "Experimental Tests of the Endowment Effect and the Coase Theorem," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(6), pages 1325-1348, December.
    4. Chad Kendall & Marie Rekkas, 2012. "Incumbency advantages in the Canadian Parliament," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 45(4), pages 1560-1585, November.
    5. David S. Lee, 2001. "The Electoral Advantage to Incumbency and Voters' Valuation of Politicians' Experience: A Regression Discontinuity Analysis of Elections to the U.S..," NBER Working Papers 8441, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Yogesh Uppal, 2009. "The disadvantaged incumbents: estimating incumbency effects in Indian state legislatures," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 138(1), pages 9-27, January.
    7. Kirstin Appelt & David Hardisty & Elke Weber, 2011. "Asymmetric discounting of gains and losses: A query theory account," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 43(2), pages 107-126, October.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Leandro de Magalhaes & Salomo Hirvonen, 2019. "The Incumbent-Challenger Advantage and the Winner-Runner-up Advantage," Bristol Economics Discussion Papers 19/710, School of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
    2. Jose Apesteguia & Miguel Ballester, 2009. "A theory of reference-dependent behavior," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 40(3), pages 427-455, September.
    3. Erica Mina Okada, 2010. "Uncertainty, Risk Aversion, and WTA vs. WTP," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 29(1), pages 75-84, 01-02.
    4. S. Dellavigna., 2011. "Psychology and Economics: Evidence from the Field," VOPROSY ECONOMIKI, N.P. Redaktsiya zhurnala "Voprosy Economiki", vol. 4.
    5. Alex Imas & Sally Sadoff & Anya Samek, 2017. "Do People Anticipate Loss Aversion?," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 63(5), pages 1271-1284, May.
    6. Ulrich Schmidt & Stefan Traub, 2009. "An Experimental Investigation of the Disparity Between WTA and WTP for Lotteries," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 66(3), pages 229-262, March.
    7. James C. Cox & Maroš Servátka & Radovan Vadovic, 2012. "Status Quo Effects in Fairness Games: Reciprocal Responses to Acts of Commission vs. Acts of Omission," Experimental Economics Center Working Paper Series 2012-03, Experimental Economics Center, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University, revised Mar 2016.
    8. Robert W. Hahn & Robert N. Stavins, 2011. "The Effect of Allowance Allocations on Cap-and-Trade System Performance," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 54(S4), pages 267-294.
    9. Ulrich Schmidt & Horst Zank, 2012. "A genuine foundation for prospect theory," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 45(2), pages 97-113, October.
    10. Laura Hueber & Rene Schwaiger, 2021. "Debiasing Through Experience Sampling: The Case of Myopic Loss Aversion," Working Papers 2021-01, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck.
    11. Han Bleichrodt, 2002. "A new explanation for the difference between time trade‐off utilities and standard gamble utilities," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 11(5), pages 447-456, July.
    12. Indranil Goswami & Oleg Urminsky, 2016. "When should the ask be a nudge? The Effect of Default Amounts on Charitable Donations," Natural Field Experiments 00659, The Field Experiments Website.
    13. Kuhberger, Anton, 1998. "The Influence of Framing on Risky Decisions: A Meta-analysis," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 75(1), pages 23-55, July.
    14. Miklós Antal & Ardjan Gazheli & Jeroen C.J.M. van den Bergh, 2012. "Behavioural Foundations of Sustainability Transitions. WWWforEurope Working Paper No. 3," WIFO Studies, WIFO, number 46424, March.
    15. Anbarci, Nejat & Arin, K. Peren & Kuhlenkasper, Torben & Zenker, Christina, 2018. "Revisiting loss aversion: Evidence from professional tennis," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 153(C), pages 1-18.
    16. Fershtman, Chaim, 1996. "On the value of incumbency managerial reference points and loss aversion," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 245-257, April.
    17. Dorian Jullien, 2013. "Asian Disease-type of Framing of Outcomes as an Historical Curiosity," GREDEG Working Papers 2013-47, Groupe de REcherche en Droit, Economie, Gestion (GREDEG CNRS), Université Côte d'Azur, France.
    18. Han Bleichrodt & José Luis Pinto, 2000. "An experimental test of loss aversion and scale compatibility," Economics Working Papers 467, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
    19. Ramiah, Vikash & Xu, Xiaoming & Moosa, Imad A., 2015. "Neoclassical finance, behavioral finance and noise traders: A review and assessment of the literature," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 89-100.
    20. Summers, Barbara & Duxbury, Darren, 2012. "Decision-dependent emotions and behavioral anomalies," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 118(2), pages 226-238.

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:jdm:journl:v:12:y:2017:i:2:p:173-182. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Jonathan Baron). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.