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Bølstad and Dinas (2017) propose a model of spatial voting, based on social identity theory, that suggests supporting a candidate/policy on the other side of the ideological spectrum has a disutility that is not accounted for by common spatial models. Unfortunately, the data they use cannot speak directly to whether the disutility arises because individuals perceive their ideology as a social identity. We present the results of an experimental study that measures the norm against crossing the ideological spectrum; tests the cost of doing so, controlling for spatial effects; and demonstrates that this cost increases with the salience and strength of identity norms. By demonstrating the norm mechanism for the disutility of crossing the ideological spectrum, we provide strong support for B&D's model.


This article was originally published in British Journal of Political Science in 2024.

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.



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