45-213 Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Paul Lazarsfeld, Anthony Downs, Voting Behavior

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Dominance and Decline Chapter 1/2 :
1. The Sociological Model:
Created by Paul Lazarsfeld
Voting behavior that mimicked the marketplace: voters voted for their favorite party
like they were purchasing a product.
Strongest indicators were social economic status, community, and religion.
Criticism of the Approach:
Does not leave much room for politics
Candidates and issues lay a small role in vote choice
To descriptive; doesn’t probe motivation
Too static
Index of Political Predisposition (ipp) : Measurement of why people vote
Community, religion, economic status
Cross Pressure: People may take on a variety of social identity, and these may not be mutually
reinforcing when it comes to vote choice. Religious affliction, for example, may push voters in
one direction, but their regional identity might push them in an opposite direction.
Breakage effect: When a citizens primary group are not homogenous politically, the dominant
partisan climate of opinion in the community will break through.
2. The Social Psychological Model:
It was created to challenge the sociological model as the IPP was not efficient when
gathering a census of the whole country.
Sees voting as a psychological force
Funnel of Causality: Highlights a series of causal chains that result in vote choice Voter
personality and Leadership personality create leader evaluation of direct effect or
indirect effect to the Vote.
Party Identification: as a feeling of closeness or psychological attachment to a political party
that is formed early in the life cycle and is influenced by parental partisanship.
Criticism of the Approach:
Causal path
Set back in the funnel of causality
Paying insufficient attention to the social element: treats voting as an induvial behavior
3. Multistage Models:
Combining both the sociological model and the social psychological model
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