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PLoS One. 2015 Sep 3;10(9):e0135289. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0135289. eCollection 2015.

Voting at Home Is Associated with Lower Cortisol than Voting at the Polls.

Author information

1
Department of Political Science, University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, Iowa, United States of America.
2
Department of Political Science, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, Nebraska, United States of America.
3
Department of Psychology, University of Nebraska-Omaha, Omaha, Nebraska, United States of America.
4
School of Political Sciences, University of Haifa, Mount Carmel, Haifa, Israel.

Abstract

Previous research finds that voting is a socially stressful activity associated with increases in cortisol levels. Here we extend this research by investigating whether different voting modalities have differential effects on the stress response to voting. Results from a field experiment conducted during the 2012 presidential elections strongly suggest that traditional "at the polls" voting is more stressful, as measured by increases in cortisol levels, than voting at home by mail-in ballot or engaging in comparable non-political social activities. These findings imply that increased low-stress voting options such as mail-in ballots may increase political participation among individuals who are sensitive to social stressors.

PMID:
26335591
PMCID:
PMC4559449
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0135289
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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