Participating in politics resembles physical activity: General action patterns in international archives, United States archives, and experiments

Kenji Noguchi, Ian M. Handley, Dolores Albarracín

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

A series of studies examined whether political participation can emerge from general patterns of indiscriminate activity. In the first two studies, general action tendencies were measured by combining national and state-level indicators of high activity (e.g., impulsiveness, pace of life, and physical activity) from international and U.S. data.This action-tendency index positively correlated with a measure of political participation that consisted of voting behaviors and participation in political demonstrations. The following two experimental studies indicated that participants exposed to action words (e.g., go, move) had stronger intentions to vote in an upcoming election and volunteered more time to make phone calls on behalf of a university policy than participants exposed to inaction words did (e.g., relax, stop). These studies suggest that political participation can be predicted from general tendencies toward activity present at the national and state levels, as well as from verbal prompts suggestive of activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)235-242
Number of pages8
JournalPsychological Science
Volume22
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2011

Keywords

  • cross-country analyses
  • general action tendencies
  • political participation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

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