Inequality and voter turnout: Examining the impact of subjective experiences of inequality on voter abstention

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dc.contributor.advisor Osborne, D en Townrow, Carly en 2015-07-12T21:35:47Z en 2015 en
dc.identifier.citation 2015 en
dc.identifier.uri en
dc.description Full text is available to authenticated members of The University of Auckland only. en
dc.description.abstract Voter turnout has experienced a dramatic decline in most Western Democracies over the last 60 years and New Zealand is no exception. Though over 91% of the electorate voted in New Zealand‘s General Election in 1954, nearly a third of the population abstained from voting in 2011. Notably, income inequality has been identified as a key player in this trend. However, the psychology underlying the relationship between inequality and voter turnout has received limited attention. This thesis addresses this oversight in two studies using two nationally representative datasets. Study 1 (N = 3101) uses latent profile analysis to identify response profiles underlying voters‘ attitudes towards inequality, and then shows how these distinct response patterns predict beliefs about the government and voting behaviour. Results show that a response profile reflecting strong opposition to inequality, a lack of sympathy towards the economically disadvantaged, and limited support for government welfare is associated with (a) higher perceptions of government corruption, (b) lower beliefs in the efficacy of voting, and (c) a reduced likelihood of having voted in the 2011 General Election. Study 2 (N = 4924) examines the indirect effect of income on voter turnout through perceptions of both individual and group-based relative deprivation. As expected, income was positively correlated with voter turnout. Follow up analyses, however, indicated that this relationship was partially mediated by perceptions of relative deprivation. Results from both studies demonstrate the significance of the subjective experience of inequality with respect to voting behaviour, as well as the importance of integrating psychological perspectives into models of voter turnout. Keywords: Relative Deprivation, Latent Profile Analysis, Voter Turnout, Inequality en
dc.publisher ResearchSpace@Auckland en
dc.relation.ispartof Masters Thesis - University of Auckland en
dc.relation.isreferencedby UoA99264781098402091 en
dc.rights Items in ResearchSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. Previously published items are made available in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. en
dc.rights Restricted Item. Available to authenticated members of The University of Auckland. en
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dc.title Inequality and voter turnout: Examining the impact of subjective experiences of inequality on voter abstention en
dc.type Thesis en Psychology en The University of Auckland en Masters en
dc.rights.holder Copyright: The Author en
pubs.elements-id 490200 en
pubs.record-created-at-source-date 2015-07-13 en

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