Getting the Message? Choice, Self-Selection, and the Efficacy of Social Movement Arguments

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2021
Authors
Testa, Paul F.
Williams, Tarah
Britzman, Kylee
Hibbing, Matthew V.
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Keywords
Self-selection , Preference-incorporating choice and assignment design , Effect heterogeneity , Source cues , Social movements , Political communication
Abstract
The dynamics of choice and self-selection are central features of politics but absent from most experimental designs. We show how designs that incorporate choice, by allowing some subjects the option to receive or avoid treatment, can be extended by randomizing conditional on subjects' treatment choices to answer further questions of interest while preserving statistical power. We apply this design to study how the gender of messengers for the #MeToo social movement conditions who receives the movement's message and how they respond. Our results, from both convenience and nationally representative samples, suggest that #MeToo movement's message reaches a wide audience with the intended effect. The potential for backlash in response to the message appears limited but more likely when this message is delivered by a woman.
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Political Science
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© The Author(s) 2020. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of The Experimental Research Section of the American Political Science Association
Citation
Testa, Paul F., Tarah Williams, Kylee Britzman, and Matthew V. Hibbing. 2021. “Getting the Message? Choice, Self-Selection, and the Efficacy of Social Movement Arguments.” Journal of Experimental Political Science 8 (3). Cambridge University Press: 296–309. doi:10.1017/XPS.2020.24.
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Cambridge Univ. Press
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