Although there is a significant gender gap in political ambition, the literature has shown that women are responsive to encouragement to run for office. As a result, both political parties and other organizations have adopted online campaigns to encourage women to seek political candidacy. The purpose of this study is to explore whether forms of online and impersonal encouragement can result in higher levels of political ambition among recipients. To test this possibility, we randomly assigned 341 participants into two conditions: control and encouragement. Despite receiving positive encouragement about their own political abilities, there were no significant differences between the two conditions.

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Journal of Women, Politics and Policy
Department of Psychology

Pruysers, S, & Blais, J. (2018). A Little Encouragement Goes a (not so) Long Way: An Experiment to Increase Political Ambition. Journal of Women, Politics and Policy, 39(3), 384–395. doi:10.1080/1554477X.2018.1475793