Do People Do What They Say They Will Do? Comparing Survey and Experiential Measures of Anti-Corruption Voting


June 26, 2024

Wed | 09:00 AM - 10:00 AM EDT


Join USAID's Democracy, Human Rights, and Governance (DRG) Bureau on June 26 from 9-10AM EST for a presentation and discussion with Jake Bowers, Professor of Political Science and Statistics at the University of Illinois and Matthew S. Winters,  Professor of Political Science and the incoming Director of the Center for East Asian and Pacific Studies at the University of Illinois.

Survey questionnaires are a common way of collecting data for use in project evaluations. We use them to understand people's behavior, from how they might vote to how they would respond to corruption. However, do people’s responses to survey questions reflect their actual behavior? With reference to scholarship on how people react to political information, Jake and Matthew compare the results of survey experiments and field experiments involving the dissemination of information about political corruption. In doing so, they show that people’s stated reactions in a survey context do not always correspond to their actual behaviors in real-life situations, and raise some concerns about how best to develop an evidence base in domains that rely heavily on survey research.