Fachbereichskolloquium: Dr. Jens Lange

“An expectancy-value model of interpersonal likability in politics”


29. Juni 2022 16:15 – 29. Juni 2022 17:45

Dekanatssaal, Fachbereichsgebäude, Gutenbergstraße 18, Erdgeschoss

Dr. Jens Lange, Universität Hamburg
“An expectancy-value model of interpersonal likability in politics”

Elections are among the most consequential human events. Previous political and psychological research provides evidence for three seemingly inconsistent findings regarding elections. First, voters generally like parties with moderate political views. Second, parties with moderately extreme political views are most successful. Third, parties with extreme political views have the most ex-treme fans and haters. We present an agent-based model accounting for these findings. In the expectancy-value model of interpersonal likability in politics (EVIL-P), voters render decisions in favor of political parties depending on how likable they find them. Likability results from processes akin to expectan-cy-value models. Voters prefer parties that favor policies that voters value highly. Moreover, voters like the party especially when it is unexpected that parties who favor these policies exist. The expectancy of encountering certain parties therefore determines how much voters like a party that most strongly represents their political views. Simulations show that EVIL-P accounts for all seemingly inconsistent findings from previous literature. Next to simulations, we found evidence for predictions derived from EVIL-P in a reanalysis of nine studies in which participants rated their attitudes towards social groups that vary from liberal to conservative (total N = 6,587). We further replicated these findings with data from the American National Election Studies (ANES) from 1972 to 2020 (total N = 38,868). The analysis of the ANES also supported the conclusion that value and expectancy interactively predict attitudes towards presidential candidates. In sum, EVIL-P promises to illuminate one of the most consequential human events.


Dr. Jens Lange