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i-com

Journal of Interactive Media

Editor-in-Chief: Ziegler, Jürgen

Online
ISSN
2196-6826
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Volume 16, Issue 3

Issues

Exploring the Social Media Impact of Voting Advice Apps: A Case Study on the Representation of the Wahl-O-Mat on Twitter

Moritz Valentin Fischer / Philipp Tschochohei / Laura Anders / Kimberly Dana Breuer / Alejandro Hermida Carrillo / Sarah Diefenbach
Published Online: 2017-11-24 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/icom-2017-0028

Abstract

Voting Advice Applications (VAAs) are web-based tools designed to help voters to find a political party that matches their political views. In the past decade, VAAs have been developed in several countries in order to stimulate political discussion especially among the young and to facilitate a voting decision. At the same time, social media such as Twitter play an increasingly important role for political discussion and opinion formation. The aim of the present research is to explore the interplay of VAAs and social media. We analyzed 500 tweets regarding the main VAA in Germany, the ‘Wahl-O-Mat’, during the pre-election phase of the federal state election in North Rhine Westphalia. As a main result, we discovered that tweets that recommended the app as a product did not obtain high levels of social impact, whereas tweets with self-portrayal content (e.g., posting one’s own VAA result) elicited more engagement by other twitter users. Further results are interpreted through the lens of psychological theories. Finally, we outline practical implications for potential product improvement of the Wahl-O-Mat. Altogether, the present paper highlights the importance of integrating psychological research in the process of VAA development.

Keywords: Voting Advice Applications; Wahl-O-Mat; Social Media; Political discussion; Twitter

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About the article

Moritz Valentin Fischer

Moritz Valentin Fischer studies in his last year Economic, Organizational and Social Psychology (M.Sc.) at the Ludwig-Maximilians University in Munich. His research interest is especially in the field of Social Psychology.

Philipp Tschochohei

Philipp Tschochohei is a PhD student in the fields of philosophy and psychology at the Ludwig-Maximilians University in Munich. His research focus lies on aesthetics, media, and economy in the field of phenomenological philosophy.

Laura Anders

Laura Anders studies in her last year Economic, Organizational and Social Psychology (M.Sc.) at the Ludwig-Maximilians University in Munich. Her research interests are especially in the field of user experience and usability testing.

Kimberly Dana Breuer

Kimberly Dana Breuer studies in her last year Economic, Organizational and Social Psychology (M.Sc.) at the Ludwig-Maximilians University in Munich. Her research interests are especially in the field of Social Cognitive and Organizational Psychology.

Alejandro Hermida Carrillo

Alejandro Hermida Carrillo studies in his last year Economic, Organizational and Social Psychology (M.Sc.) at the Ludwig-Maximilians University in Munich. His research focuses on various topics in the fields of Social and Work Psychology, with a particular interest in Intergroup Relations.

Sarah Diefenbach

Sarah Diefenbach is professor for market and consumer psychology at the Ludwig-Maximilians University in Munich. Her research focuses on the design and evaluation of interactive technology with a special attention to emotional experience and psychological needs.


Published Online: 2017-11-24

Published in Print: 2017-12-20


Citation Information: i-com, Volume 16, Issue 3, Pages 279–285, ISSN (Online) 2196-6826, ISSN (Print) 1618-162X, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/icom-2017-0028.

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