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Targeting your preferences: modelling micro-targeting for an increasingly diverse electorate

Pilditch, Toby and Madsen, Jens (2021) Targeting your preferences: modelling micro-targeting for an increasingly diverse electorate. Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, 24 (1).

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Identification Number: 10.18564/jasss.4452


The use of data to inform and run political campaigning has become an inescapable trend in recent years. In attempting to persuade an electorate, micro-targeted campaigns (MTCs) have been employed to great effect through the use of tailored messaging and selective targeting. Here we investigate the capacity of MTCs to deal with the diversity of political preferences across an electorate. More precisely, via an Agent-Based Model we simulate various diverse electorates that encompass single issue, multiple issue, swing, and disengaged voters (among others, including combinations thereof) and determine the relative persuasive efficacy of MTCs when pitted against more traditional, population-targeting campaigns. Taking into account the perceived credibility of these campaigns, we find MTCs highly capable of handling greater voter complexity than shown in previous work, and yielding further advantages beyond traditional campaigns in their capacity to avoid inefficient (or even backfiring) interactions – even when fielding a low credibility candidate.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2021 JASSS
Divisions: Psychological and Behavioural Science
Subjects: J Political Science > JF Political institutions (General)
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2021 12:36
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2021 01:05

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