Library Header Image
LSE Research Online LSE Library Services

How does treatment self-selection affect inferences about political communication?

Leeper, Thomas J. (2017) How does treatment self-selection affect inferences about political communication? Journal of Experimental Political Science, 4 (1). pp. 21-33. ISSN 2052-2630

PDF - Accepted Version
Download (629kB) | Preview
Identification Number: 10.1017/XPS.2017.1


Ecological validity is vital to experimental research because designs that are too artificial may not speak to any real-world political phenomenon. One such concern is treatment self-selection: if individuals in the real world self-select treatments, such as political communications, how well does the sample average treatment effect estimate the effects of message exposure for those individuals who would — if given the choice — opt-in to and out of receiving treatment? This study shows that randomization masks effect heterogeneity between individuals who would select different messages if given the choice. Yet such selections are themselves complex, revealing additional challenges for realistically studying treatments prone to self-selection. The evidence of effect heterogeneity raises questions about the appropriateness of random assignment experiments for studying political communication and the results more broadly advance our understanding of citizens’ selection into and responses to communications when, as they often do, have choice over what messages to receive.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2017 The Experimental Research Section of the American Political Science Association
Divisions: Government
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HE Transportation and Communications
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Date Deposited: 07 Sep 2016 10:08
Last Modified: 05 Jun 2024 18:57

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics