Using citizen voice to evaluate experiments on politicians: a UK survey experiment

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Experiments on the responsiveness of elected officials highlight the tension between the freedom to carry out research and the right of subjects to be treated with respect. Controversy emerges from the power of politicians to block or object to experimental designs using identity deception. One way to resolve this conundrum is to consult citizens who, as constituents of politicians, have an interest in promoting the accountability of elected representatives. Building on the work of Desposato (2018) and Naurin and Öhberg (2021), this survey experiment presented research designs to UK citizens for their evaluation. The findings show that citizens strongly approve of experimental research on MPs and are glad to see their representatives participate. There are no differences in support whether designs use deception, debriefing, confederates, or pre-agreement from MPs. Linked to high interest in politics, more citizens are glad their MPs participate in studies using deception than those deploying confederates.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Experimental Political Science
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 13 Jan 2023


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