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How gender affects the efficacy of discussion as an information shortcut

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  18 June 2019

Yanna Krupnikov*
Department of Political Science, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, New York, United States
Kerri Milita
Department of Political Science, Illinois State University, Normal, Illinois, United States
John Barry Ryan
Department of Political Science, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, New York, United States
Elizabeth C. Connors
Department of Political Science, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, New York, United States
*Corresponding author. E-mail:


There are a number of observed gender differences in the frequency of political discussion, perceived levels of expertise, and importantly, openness to persuasion. This article explores the consequences of these differences for political choices. Given the difficulty in separating influence from homophily with observational data, this paper relies on a group-based experiment. Results suggest that when selecting between candidates, women are more likely to accept information from others, even if the information in the signals is not helpful. Men, on the other hand, often ignore outside signals in favor of sticking with their own choices even when outside signals would be helpful to their decision-making. A reanalysis of a previously published experiment on social communication leads to similar gender differences.

Original Articles
Copyright © The European Political Science Association 2019

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