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Negativity effect and the emergence of ideologies

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  • Enriqueta Aragonés

Abstract

``Negativity effect'' refers to the psychological phenomenon that people tend to attach greater weight to negative information than to equally extreme and equally likely positive information in a variety of information processing tasks. Numerous studies of impression formation have found that negative information is weighted more heavily than positive information as impressions of others are formed. There is empirical evidence in political science that shows the importance of the negativity effect in the information processing of the voters. This effect can explain the observed decrease of popularity for a president the longer he is in office. \\ We construct a dynamic model of political competition, incorporating the negativity effect in the decision rule of the voters and allowing their preferences to change over time, according to the past performance of the candidates while in office. Our model may explain the emergence of ideologies out of the competition for votes of myopic candidates freely choosing policy positions. This result gives rise to the formation of political parties, as infinitely--lived agents with a certain ideology. Furthermore, in this model some voters may start out by switching among parties associated with different policies, but find themselves supporting one of the parties from some point on. Thus, the model describes a process by which some voters become identified with a ``right'' or ``left'' bloc, while others ``swing'' between the two parties.

Suggested Citation

  • Enriqueta Aragonés, 1994. "Negativity effect and the emergence of ideologies," Economics Working Papers 163, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Dec 1995.
  • Handle: RePEc:upf:upfgen:163
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Frey, Bruno S & Schneider, Friedrich, 1978. "An Empirical Study of Politico-Economic Interaction in the United States," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 60(2), pages 174-183, May.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Raphaël Soubeyran, 2009. "Does a Disadvantaged Candidate Choose an Extremist Position?," Annals of Economics and Statistics, GENES, issue 93-94, pages 301-326.
    2. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:4:y:2006:i:31:p:1-8 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Pascal Gautier & Raphael Soubeyran, 2005. "Political Cycles: the Opposition Advantage," Public Economics 0510019, EconWPA.
    4. Jan Endrikat, 2016. "Market Reactions to Corporate Environmental Performance Related Events: A Meta-analytic Consolidation of the Empirical Evidence," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 138(3), pages 535-548, October.
    5. Raphaël Soubeyran & Pascal Gautier, 2008. "Political Cycles: Issue Ownership and the Opposition Advantage," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 10(4), pages 685-716, August.
    6. Raphaël Soubeyran, 2006. "When Inertia Generates Political Cycles," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 4(31), pages 1-8.
    7. Guerdjikova, Ani, 2006. "Portfolio Choice and Asset Prices in an Economy Populated by Case-Based Decision Makers," Working Papers 06-13, Cornell University, Center for Analytic Economics.
    8. Raphaël Soubeyran, 2006. "Valence Advantages and Public Goods Consumption: Does a Disadvantaged Candidate Choose an Extremist Position?," Working Papers 2006.84, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    9. Höhler, Julia & Hildenbrand, Andreas, 2016. "Der Milchpreis In Der Deutschen Presse: Nur „Milchkrisen“ In Der Berichterstattung?," 56th Annual Conference, Bonn, Germany, September 28-30, 2016 244869, German Association of Agricultural Economists (GEWISOLA).
    10. Enriqueta Aragonés, 1994. "Negativity effect in multiparty electoral competition," Economics Working Papers 273, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Sep 1997.
    11. David Schmeidler & Itzhak Gilboa, 1996. "Cumulative Utility Consumer Theory," Working Papers 025, Ohio State University, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Negativity effect; formation of ideologies;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior

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