EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

Memory retrieval processes help explain the incumbency advantage

Anna Katharina Spälti, Mark J. Brandt and Marcel Zeelenberg

Judgment and Decision Making, 2017, vol. 12, issue 2, 173-182

Abstract: Voters prefer political candidates who are currently in office (incumbents) over new candidates (challengers). Using the premise of query theory (Johnson, Häubl & Keinan, 2007), we clarify the underlying cognitive mechanisms by asking whether memory retrieval sequences affect political decision making. Consistent with predictions, Experiment 1 (N = 256) replicated the incumbency advantage and showed that participants tended to first query information about the incumbent. Experiment 2 (N = 427) showed that experimentally manipulating participants’ query order altered the strength of the incumbency advantage. Experiment 3 (N = 713) replicated Experiment 1 and, in additional experimental conditions, showed that the effects of incumbency can be overridden by more valid cues, like the candidates’ ideology. Participants queried information about ideologically similar candidates earlier and also preferred these ideologically similar candidates. This is initial evidence for a cognitive, memory-retrieval process underling the incumbency advantage and political decision making.

Keywords: memory retrieval; query theory; incumbency advantage; information processing; political decision making (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
http://journal.sjdm.org/16/16920a/jdm16920a.pdf (application/pdf)
http://journal.sjdm.org/16/16920a/jdm16920a.html (text/html)

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:jdm:journl:v:12:y:2017:i:2:p:173-182

Access Statistics for this article

Judgment and Decision Making is currently edited by Jonathan Baron

More articles in Judgment and Decision Making from Society for Judgment and Decision Making
Series data maintained by Jonathan Baron ().

 
Page updated 2017-09-29
Handle: RePEc:jdm:journl:v:12:y:2017:i:2:p:173-182