Endorsements as voting cues: Heuristic and systematic processing in initiative elections

Mark Forehand, John Gastil, Mark A. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


This project explores how organizational endorsements influence voter attitudes during initiative elections. Building on the heuristic-systematic model (Chaiken, 1980; Chen & Chaiken, 1999), we propose that voters use organizational endorsements as heuristic cues to help them develop their attitudes toward initiatives. It is hypothesized that the influence of endorsements on initiative voting depends on the applicability, availability, and diagnosticity of the endorsement voting cue and on the degree to which the voter is motivated to fully evaluate the arguments behind the initiative. An experiment was conducted in which motivation (processing goal instructions), cue applicability (match between endorsing organization and initiative), and initiative (four different hypothetical ballot issues) were manipulated. Results showed support for our first two hypotheses, but not for the third.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2215-2231
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Applied Social Psychology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology


Dive into the research topics of 'Endorsements as voting cues: Heuristic and systematic processing in initiative elections'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this