This article sets out a social psychological theory of voting behaviour that integrates stimuli from institutions; perceptions of stimuli from such institutions as the media and government; and individual predispositions to respond. It thus clarifies the confusion caused in the classic Michigan model, which treats perceptions as individual attributes without regard to institutional stimuli. Multi-level statistical analysis of turnout at the 2009 European Parliament election shows that, after controlling for individual predispositions, institutional stimuli have a substantial effect on behaviour both contextually and by shaping individual perceptions.
- social psychology
- voting behaviour