Overclaiming Knowledge Predicts Anti-establishment Voting

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

People often vote against the political establishment, as underscored by “Brexit” and the Trump election. The current contribution proposes that overclaiming one’s own knowledge predicts anti-establishment voting. We tested this idea in the context of a Dutch referendum on a European Union treaty with a clear pro- versus anti-establishment voting option. In a first wave (6 weeks before the referendum), Dutch citizens indicated their self-perceived understanding of the treaty, after which we tested their actual knowledge. We also measured participants’ general tendency to overclaim knowledge by assessing their familiarity with nonexisting stimuli. In a second wave shortly after the referendum, we asked participants what they had voted. Results revealed that increased self-perceived understanding yet decreased actual knowledge of the treaty, and general knowledge overclaiming, predicted an anti-establishment vote. Furthermore, these effects were most pronounced among right-wing extremists. We conclude that knowledge overclaiming predicts anti-establishment voting, particularly at the radical right.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalSocial Psychological and Personality Science
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jul 2019

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International Cooperation
Politics
European Union

Keywords

  • Knowledge overclaiming
  • anti-establishment voting
  • Populism
  • Extremism
  • Radicalism
  • Voting behaviour

Cite this

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Overclaiming Knowledge Predicts Anti-establishment Voting. / van Prooijen, J.W.; Krouwel, André.

In: Social Psychological and Personality Science, 18.07.2019, p. 1-8.

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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