A Social Approach to Voter Vengeance

Nada Nasr Bechwati, Bentley College
Maureen Morrin, Rutgers University, Camden
We propose that, in electoral contexts, voters may experience a desire for vengeance, i.e., to “get even” with an entity, such as a political candidate, in response to a perceived wrongdoing. We draw on research from psychology and sociology to develop a theoretical framework for examining factors that may influence the extent to which voters exact revenge on political candidates with their voting behavior. Our experiments show that voters exact revenge on a perpetrator candidate. This process is mediated by damage to self-identity. We also show how making salient a shared affiliation with the perpetrator candidate can attenuate vengeful behavior.
[ to cite ]:
Nada Nasr Bechwati and Maureen Morrin (2008) ,"A Social Approach to Voter Vengeance", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 35, eds. Angela Y. Lee and Dilip Soman, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 648-649.