Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Replicating Experiments Using Aggregate and Survey Data: The Case of Negative Advertising and Turnout

  • Stephen D. Ansolabehere (a1), Shanto Iyengar (a2) and Adam Simon (a3)

Abstract

Experiments show significant demobilizing and alienating effects of negative advertising. Although internally valid, experiments may have limited external validity. Aggregate and survey data offer two ways of providing external validation for experiments. We show that survey recall measures of advertising exposure suffer from problems of internal validity due to simultaneity and measurement error, which bias estimated effects of ad exposure. We provide valid estimates of the causal effects of ad exposure for the NES surveys using instrumental variables and find that negative advertising causes lower turnout in the NES data. We also provide a careful statistical analysis of aggregate turnout data from the 1992 Senate elections that Wattenberg and Brians (1999) recommend. These aggregate data confirm our original findings. Experiments, surveys, and aggregate data all point to the same conclusion: Negative advertising demobilizes voters.

Copyright

References

Hide All
Abadie, Alberto. 1998. “Semiparametric Estimation of Instrumental Variable Models for Causal Effects.” Department of Economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Typescript.
Angrist, Joshua D., Imbens, Guido, and Rubin, Donald. 1996. “Identification of Causal Effects Using Instrumental Variables.” Journal of the American Statistical Association 91 (2): 444–72.
Ansolabehere, Stephen, and Iyengar, Shanto. 1995a. Going Negative: How Political Advertising Shrinks and Polarizes the Electorate. New York: Free Press.
Ansolabehere, Stephen, and Iyengar, Shanto. 1995b. “Messages Forgotten: Misreporting in Surveys and the Bias Toward Minimal Effects.” Department of Political Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Typescript.
Ansolabehere, Stephen, Iyengar, Shanto, Simon, Adam, and Valentino, Nicholas. 1994. “Does Attack Advertising Demobilize the Electorate?American Political Science Review 88 (December): 829–38.
Bartels, Larry. 1993. “Messages Received: The Political Impact of Media Exposure.” American Political Science Review 87 (June): 267–85.
Bound, John, Jaeger, David A., and Baker, Regina M. 1995. “Problems with Instrumental Variables Estimation When the Correlation between the Instruments and the Endogenous Explanatory Variable Is Weak.” Journal of the American Statistical Association 90 (June): 443–50.
Bradburn, Norman, Rips, Lance J., and Shevell, Steven K. 1987. “Answering Autobiographical Questions: The Impact of Memory and Inference in Surveys.” Science 236 (April): 157–61.
Elections Data Services. 1993. The Election Data Book, 1992: A Statistical Portrait of Voting in America. Lanham, MD: Bernan.
Greene, William H. 1997. Econometric Analysis. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
Higgins, E. Tory, Kuiper, Nicholas A., and Olson, James M. 1981. “Social Cognition: A Need to Get Personal.” In Social Cognition, ed. Higgins, E. Tory, Herman, C. Peter, and Zanna, Mark P.Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum. Pp. 395420.
Houston, D. A., Doan, K. A., and Roskos-Ewoldsen, D. R. 1999. “Negative Political Advertising and Choice Conflict.” Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied 5 (March): 316.
Houston, D. A., and Roskos-Ewoldsen, D. R. 1998. “Cancellation and Focus Model of Choice and Preferences for Political Candidates.” Basic and Applied Social Psychology 20 (December): 305–12.
Imbens, Guido, and Angrist, Joshua. 1994. “Identification and Estimation of Local Average Treatment Effects.” Econometrica 62 (March): 467–76.
Iyengar, Shanto. 1990. “Shortcuts to Political Knowledge: The Role of Selective Attention and Accessibility.” In Information and Democratic Processes, ed. Ferejohn, John and Kuklinski, James. Champaign: University of Illinois Press. Pp. 160–85.
Johnston, John. 1984. Econometric Methods. 3d ed. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Little, Roderick, and Rubin, Donald. 1986. Statistical Analysis with Missing Data. New York: Wiley.
Loftus, E. F., Klinger, M. R., Smith, K. D., and Fiedler, Judith. 1990. “A Tale of Two Questions.” Public Opinion Quarterly 54 (Fall): 330–45.
McFadden, Daniel, and Rudd, Paul A. 1994. “Estimation by Simulation.” Review of Economics and Statistics 76 (November): 591608.
Miller, Warren E., Kinder, Donald, Rosenstone, Steven J., and the National Election Studies. 1993. American National Election Study, 1992: Pre- and Post-Election Survey [computer file] (Study #6067) Conducted by University of Michigan, Center for Political Studies. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan, Center for Political Studies/ Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research [producers]. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor].
Pierce, John C., and Lovrich, Nicholas P. 1982. “Survey Measurement of Political Participation: Selective Effects of Recall in Petition Signing.” Social Science Quarterly 63 (1): 164–71.
Price, Vincent, and Zaller, John. 1993. “Who Gets the News?Public Opinion Quarterly 57 (Summer): 133–64.
Rosenstone, Steven J., and Hansen, John Mark. 1993. Mobilization, Participation, and Democracy in America. New York: Macmillan.
Rosenstone, Steven J., Kinder, Donald, Miller, Warren E., and the National Election Studies. 1997. American National Election Study, 1996: Pre- and Post-Election Survey [computer file] (Study #6896). Conducted by University of Michigan, Center for Political Studies. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan, Center for Political Studies/Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research [producers]. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor].
Shaw, Daron. 1999. “The Effect of TV Ads and Candidate Appearances on Statewide Presidential Votes, 1988–96.” American Political Science Review 93 (June): 345–62.
Silver, Brian D., Anderson, Barbara A., and Abramson, Paul R. 1986. “Who Overreports Voting?American Political Science Review 80 (June): 613–24.
Staiger, Douglas, and Stock, James H. 1997. “Instrumental Variables Regression with Weak Instruments.” Econometrica 65 (May): 557–86.
Wang, Jiahui, and Zivot, Eric. 1998. “Inference on Structural Parameters in Instrumental Variables Regression with Weak Instruments.” Econometrica 66 (November): 13891404.
Wattenberg, Martin P., and Brians, Craig Leonard, “Negative Campaign Advertising: Demobilzer or Mobilizer?American Political Science Review 93 (December): 891–9.

Replicating Experiments Using Aggregate and Survey Data: The Case of Negative Advertising and Turnout

  • Stephen D. Ansolabehere (a1), Shanto Iyengar (a2) and Adam Simon (a3)

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed