The effect of conspiratorial thinking and motivated reasoning on belief in election fraud

Jack Edelson, Alexander Alduncin, Christopher Krewson, James A. Sieja, Joseph E. Uscinski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations

Abstract

Belief in electoral fraud has received heightened attention due to elite rhetoric and controversial voter identification (ID) laws. Using a two-wave national survey administered before and after the 2012 election, we examine the individuallevel correlates of belief in a range of election-related conspiracy theories. Our data show that partisanship affects the timing and content of belief in election-related conspiracy theories, but a general disposition toward conspiratorial thinking strongly influences those beliefs. Support for voter ID laws, in contrast, appears to be driven largely by party identification through elite-mass linkages. Our analysis suggests that belief in election fraud is a common and predictable consequence of both underlying conspiratorial thinking and motivated partisan reasoning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)933-946
Number of pages14
JournalPolitical Research Quarterly
Volume70
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2017

Keywords

  • Conspiracy
  • Conspiracy theory
  • Elections
  • Voter fraud

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science

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