The influence of opinion polls on people's preferences Los estudios de opinión y su influencia en las preferencias de las personas
This article develops a literature review of the evidence concerning the effects of opinion polls on people's preferences (in the direction of the majority - bandwagon- or minority of people -underdog) as well as the variables that moderate the presence of this effect. Secondly, an experimental study is reported. It analyzes two variables related to the nature of opinion polls (direction and strength of poll results) in terms of their effect on preferences change. Finally, it analizes the role of three individual factors (personality, cognitive style, and gender), which are correlated with the presence of this effect. Results show that strength of poll results, as well as gender (male) and a higher score on extroversion and neuroticism (measured with tuhe EPI), are actually associated with the bandwagon effect. © 2008 Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile.
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