Beauty contests and strategic voting

Peter John Loewen, Kelly Hinton, Lior Sheffer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Prevailing models of strategic voting demonstrate that individuals are less likely to vote strategically when their preferences for a third-place party increase or when the chances of their preferred party winning increase. Rather than both of these factors influencing all voters, we demonstrate that these two factors are used by different types of voters. Using a one-shot p-beauty contest, we separate subjects into those who display strategic inference and those who do not. We then show, using data from two different experiments, that those subjects who exhibit strategic inference rely on probabilistic information about their preferred party when deciding to cast a strategic vote, while those who do not display strategic inference rely on the strength of their preferences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)38-45
Number of pages8
JournalElectoral Studies
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Experimentation
  • Individual differences
  • Political psychology
  • Strategic voting


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