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What Your Friends Think Has Big Impact On Your Vote



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(Sacramento, CA)
Wednesday, August 01, 2012

A UC Davis study says political campaigns need to focus not only on the message they're sending, but when they're sending it.  

Alison Ledgerwood is an assistant psychology professor at UC Davis and the author of the study.  She says voters can be swayed most by friends and peers especially right before an election, "We like to think it was our own idea -that we're arriving at these opinions through very careful and considered thinking- when it fact.we're usually arriving at them because or in part because of what other people think about the issue."

The study found traditional campaign fare -signs, pins, and bumper stickers work too, but well before the election takes place. 

Ledgerwood says campaigns would do well to personalize their ads and cold calls as the election draws closer, "If you're calling them when an election's in the distant future, you might want to mention polling results because it's that group information that's gonna be really, really impactful.  But, if you're calling the night before, you might want to tell the person what you think personally."
 
The study appears in the latest issue of Psychological Science. 
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