Persuasion, surveillance, and voting behavior

Alan E. Gross, Michael J. Schmidt, John P. Keating, Michael J. Saks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


More than 4000 students received one of three letters urging them to vote in a campus primary election. Two letters suggesting that voting behavior would be monitored produced 37% turnout compared with 32% for a nonsurveillance letter and 26% for noletter controls. Differences among these three groups are significant at p < .01. The letters also increased turnout in a runoff election held one week after the primary; however there were no differences among the three letters. These results are discussed in terms of Thibaut and Kelley's three-step process for enforcing group norms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)451-460
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Experimental Social Psychology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1974
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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