Polarizing Cues in Austria and Germany

Nico Büttner, Mariyana Angelova

Veröffentlichungen: Beitrag zu KonferenzPaper


This work studies social polarization in Germany and Austria in a comparative perspective. Drawing on social identity theory and voters’ propensity to use party cues as heuristics, we propose a two-stage experiment, containing two short vignettes that present real-world policy positions with varying degrees of issue salience but overall party consensus. We fielded our survey questions for Austria through the Platform für Umfragen, Methoden and empirische Analyses (PUMA) at the University of Vienna and for Germany through the German Internet Panel at the University of Mannheim.

Respondents in both survey questionnaires were randomly assigned to one out of six groups. Group 0 contains no additional information about party support of the presented policies (control group), whereas the remaining groups receive additional but selective information about the support of one party, which is currently represented in the Austrian National Assembly (treatment groups) and the German Bundestag. In all scenarios, the issue position is held constant. We expect that respondents will bring their approval of the respective policies into alignment with their attitudes towards the randomly assigned party in the vignettes. Drawing on theoretical explanations for voters’ uses of heuristics, we hypothesize that respondents polarize more strongly for low salient and less emotional polices. Based on the literature from political psychology, we further expect that respondents with higher political knowledge and political interest are more prone to socially polarize.
PublikationsstatusUnveröffentlicht - 2018
VeranstaltungTag der Politikwissenschaft 2018 - Universität Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Österreich
Dauer: 29 Nov. 201830 Nov. 2018


KonferenzTag der Politikwissenschaft 2018

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