Laboratory Experiments in American Political Behavior

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This article concentrates on laboratory experiments. It starts by presenting a short discussion of the virtues and limitations of experimental research. It then outlines the contributions and advances derived from experiments in American political behavior. In addition, the focus of discussion is on the three areas within American political behavior: the role of stereotypes in campaigns, impression formation, and the influence of the media. Experiments showed theoretical expectations emanating from social psychology that individuals employ gender and racial stereotypes when evaluating politics and forming impressions of candidates and politicians. The experimental method was vital in advancing the understanding of how citizens incorporate and process information during contemporary campaigns. Moreover, the experimental methodology has enabled researchers to convincingly reveal that the media influence how citizens view politics in a number of distinct ways.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of American Elections and Political Behavior
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780191584848
ISBN (Print)9780199235476
StatePublished - May 2 2010


  • American political behavior
  • Contemporary campaigns
  • Gender stereotypes
  • Laboratory experiments
  • Media
  • Racial stereotypes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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