Voting and Values: Reciprocal Effects over Time
Two studies investigated reciprocal effects of values and voting. Study 1 measured adults’ basic values and core political values both before (n=1379) and following (n=1030) the 2006 Italian national election. Both types of values predicted voting. Voting choice influenced subsequent core political values but not basic values. The political values of free enterprise, civil liberties, equality, law and order, military intervention, and accepting immigrants changed to become more compatible with the ideology of the chosen coalition. Study 2 measured core political values before (n=697) and following (n=506) the 2008 Italian national election. It largely replicated the reciprocal effects of voting and political values of Study 1. In addition, it demonstrated that left-right ideology mediated the reciprocal effects of voting and political values. Moreover, voter certainty moderated these effects. Political values predicted vote choice more weakly among undecided than decided voters, but voting choice led to more value change among undecided voters.