Forming Choice Preferences the Easy Way: Order and Familiarity Effects in Elections


The present research examined the relation between choice preferences in elections and 2 peripheral cues: presentation order and familiarity. Relevant previous evidence concerns mainly voters' choices in political elections, where primacy effects were found (i.e., candidates listed earlier had an advantage over candidates listed subsequently). Also, some studies found recency effects in various competitions. However, evidence on the role of familiarity in voting preferences seems rather limited. In 3 studies, data from political and nonpolitical elections were examined with respect to order and familiarity effects. All studies demonstrated the concurrent presence of order and familiarity effects. The findings are viewed in relation to theoretical ideas pertaining to heuristic processing and to implications applying to voting situations

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