Psychology of Voting


In my research on the psychology of voting a number of themes have been central, such as sincere and strategic voting, the concept and measurement of partisanship, the impact of emotions and personality, and stages in the process of voter decision making. The conference papers and journal articles about these themes have been written in collaboration with several great colleagues at home and abroad.

Here is a blog post about my article with Leonie Huddy and Alexa Bankert in Political Behavior (2017) about measuring partisanship as a social identity.

Currently, I am also involved in a project that uses neuroscientific methods (brainimaging with fMRI) to study the role of emotions in voter decision making. This project is carried out in collaboration with Alan Sanfey’s lab at the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition, and Behaviour at Radboud University, Nijmegen.

Key publications

Bankert, Alexa, Leonie Huddy, & Martin Rosema (2017). Measuring partisanship as a social identity in multi-party systems. Political Behavior, vol. 39, no. 1, pp. 103-132. (This paper received the John Sullivan Award at the 2016 APSA Annual Meeting.)

Nyhuis, Martin, Jordy Gosselt, & Martin Rosema (2016). The psychology of electoral mobilization: a subtle priming experiment. Journal of Elections, Public Opinion and Parties, Vol. 26, No. 3, pp. 293-311.

Thomassen, Jacques, & Martin Rosema (2009). Party identification revisited. In: Political Parties and Partisanship: Social Identity and Individual Attitudes (edited by John Bartle & Paolo Bellucci, pp.42-59). London: Routledge/ECPR Studies in European Political Science.

Rosema, Martin (2006). Partisanship, candidate evaluations, and prospective voting. Electoral Studies, Vol. 25, No. 3, pp. 467-488.

Rosema, Martin (2004). The Sincere Vote: A Psychological Study of Voting (unpublished doctoral dissertation). Leiden: Leiden University. more info and thesis in full

Selected working papers

Bridging the gap between stable political orientations and electoral volatility: The structure and stability of consideration sets (with Roderik Rekker). Paper presented at the EPSA Annual Conference, Brussels, Belgium, 23-25 June 2016.

Modelling electoral choice in two stages: A consideration set model of voting (with Catherine de Vries). Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Flemish and Dutch Political Science Associations (Politicologenetmaal), Amsterdam, the Netherlands, 9–10 June 2011; the ISPP Annual Scientific Meeting, 7–10 July 2010; and the ECPR Conference, Potsdam, Germany, 10–12 September 2009.

The emotional underpinning of partisanship and vote choice (with Silvia Mari). Paper presented at the ISPP Annual Scientific Meeting, Dublin, Ireland, 14–17 July 2009.

Government formation and strategic voting in multi-party systems: Voting for coalitions in the Netherlands (with Hanna Bäck). Paper presented at the PSA Annual Conference, Swansea, United Kingdom, 1–3 April 2008, and the Workshop “The Politics of Change: How Parties, Elections and Voters Adjust to Changing Political Environments”, Amsterdam, the Netherlands, 13–14 June 2008.

Passion beats reason: Emotionality versus rationality in vote choice. Paper presented at the ISPP Annual Scientific Meeting, Toronto, Canada, 3–6 July 2005, and the ECPR General Conference, Budapest, Hungary, 8–10 September 2005.