Candidate uncertainty, mental models, and complexity: Some experimental results
Since the work of Downs (1957), spatial models of elections have been a mainstay of research in political science and public choice. Despite the plethora of theoretical and empirical research involving spatial models, researchers have not considered in great detail the complexity of the decision task that a candidate confronts. Two facets of a candidate’s decision process are investigated here, using a set of laboratory experiments where subjects face a fixed incumbent in a two-dimensional policy space. First, we analyze the effect that the complexity of the electoral landscape has on the ability of the subject to defeat the incumbent. Second, we analyze the impact that a subject’s “mental model” (which we infer from a pre-experiment questionnaire) has on her performance. The experimental results suggest that the complexity of a candidate’s decision task and her perception of the task may be important factors in electoral competition. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Cox, Gary W. & Katz, Jonathan N., 1995. "Why Did The Incumbency Advantage In U.S. House Elections Grow?," Working Papers 939, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
- Arthur T. Denzau & Douglass C. North, 1993.
"Shared Mental Models: Ideologies and Institutions,"
- Rick K. Wilson, 2005. "Classroom Games: Candidate Convergence," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 71(4), pages 913-922, April.
- Coates, Dennis, 1995. "Measuring the "Personal Vote" of Members of Congress," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 85(3-4), pages 227-48, December.
- Kollman, Ken & Miller, John H. & Page, Scott E., 1998. "Political Parties and Electoral Landscapes," British Journal of Political Science, Cambridge University Press, vol. 28(01), pages 139-158, January.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:132:y:2007:i:1:p:231-246. 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: (Sonal Shukla)or (Rebekah McClure)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.