Implicit Factors and Voting Behaviour Inconsistency: From Theoretical Concept to Empirical Phenomenon




electoral behavior, electoral forecast, prediction of behavior, GATA, electoral polls, consistent attitude, behavior factors


Several recent elections and referendums were marked by a dramatic failure in pre-election prediction based on large-scale surveys among voters. As a reaction to public anger and discontent among politicians alternative strategies (prediction markets, Implicit Association Test (IAT), expectation-based forecast, etc.) are being developed. The industry of election polling has also made progress: a number of studies have shown that a relatively low accuracy of forecasts was caused by inconsistencies in sample design and implementation. The present article considers another factor behind election forecast errors: insufficiency of data about the declared intentions needed to make an accurate prediction. For this purpose, the author introduces a tool called GATA (Graphic Association Test of Attitude) measuring implicit attitudes/intentions and proposes to add a “stream” of implicit effects to the usual Theory of Reasoned Action (TRA) and the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB). According to the findings, implicit factors are an actual and clearly detected phenomenon; inconsistency in explicit and implicit attitudes/intentions is typical of many voters.

The present article aims to present this phenomenon. This will be followed by another article (Implicit Factors and Voting Behavior Inconsistency: From an Attitude to Behavior) in the next issue of the Monitoring of Public Opinion: Economic and Social Changes (2020, no.5) which will highlight behavioral effects of inconsistencies and the results of a combined use of implicit and explicit factors in the election forecast model.

Author Biography

Oleg L. Chernozub, Global Development Consortium

  • Global Development Consortium, Moscow, Russia
    • Cand. Sci. (Soc.), Vice-President for CIS Countries
  • HeliSky Inc., Moscow, Russia
    • Independent Director — Member of  the Board of Directors