Self-Prophecy Effects and Voter Turnout: An Experimental Replication


Jennifer K. Smith, Alan S. Gerber, Anton Orlich

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Smith. Jennifer K., Alan S. Gerber, Anton Orlich (2003), "Self-Prophecy Effects and Voter Turnout: An Experimental Replication." Political Psychology, 24(3): 593-604.
Psychological research has found that being asked to predict one’s future actions can bring about subsequent behavior consistent with the prediction but different from what would have occurred had no prediction been made. In a 1987 study, Greenwald, Carnot, Beach, and Young induced an increase in voting behavior by means of such a “self-prophecy” effect: Undergraduates who were asked to predict whether they would vote in an upcoming election were substantially more likely to go to the polls than those who had not been asked for a prediction. This paper reports on a replication of the Greenwald study conducted among a larger group of respondents more representative of the American electorate. No evidence was found that self-prophecy effects increase voter turnout.
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New England region
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