Institutional stimuli and individual response as explanations of turnout: the 2009 EP election

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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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)405-422
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Elections, Public Opinion and Parties
Issue number4
Early online date28 May 2013
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • social psychology
  • voting behaviour
  • media
  • government
  • elections

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