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Football and Public Opinion: A Partial Replication and Extension

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  08 November 2017

Ethan C. Busby
Affiliation:
Department of Political Science, Northwestern University, Scott Hall, 601 University Place, Evanston, IL 60208, United States, e-mail: busby@u.northwestern.edu, druckman@northwestern.edu
James N. Druckman
Affiliation:
Department of Political Science, Northwestern University, Scott Hall, 601 University Place, Evanston, IL 60208, United States, e-mail: busby@u.northwestern.edu, druckman@northwestern.edu

Abstract

Do events irrelevant to politics, such as the weather and sporting events, affect political opinions? A growing experimental literature suggests that such events can matter. However, extant experimental evidence may over-state irrelevant event effects; this could occur if these studies happen to focus on particular scenarios where irrelevant event effects are likely to occur. One way to address this possibility is through replication, which is what we do. Specifically, we replicate an experimental study that showed the outcome of a college football game can influence presidential approval. Our results partially replicate the previous study and suggest the impact is constrained to a limited set of outcome variables. The findings accentuate the need for scholars to identify the conditions under which irrelevant effects occur. While the effects clearly can occur, there relevance to politics remains unclear.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © The Experimental Research Section of the American Political Science Association 2017 

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