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How gender affects the efficacy of discussion as an information shortcut

  • Yanna Krupnikov (a1), Kerri Milita (a2), John Barry Ryan (a1) and Elizabeth C. Connors (a1)

Abstract

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.

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Corresponding author

*Corresponding author. E-mail: yanna.krupnikov@stonybrook.edu

References

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