Do You Have a Voting Plan?

Nickerson & Rogers (2010)
Summary by 
Mark Egan

The authors conducted a field experiment (N = 287,228) to test efficacy of eliciting implementation intentions when calling potential voters before the 2008 U.S. Presidential election. They found that helping voters elucidate a specific voting plan (what time they would vote, where they would be coming from, and what they would be doing beforehand) increased turnout by 4.1% points among those contacted, but a standard encouragement call and selfprediction of voting behaviour have no effect on eventual turnout. Among single-eligible-voter households, the formation of a voting plan increased turnout among persons contacted by 9.1 percentage points, whereas those in multiple-eligible voter households were unaffected by all scripts. An important paper in terms of rigorous analysis of what motivates voter turnout.