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The Effect of Social Context on Individual Vote Choices: Evidence from Taiwan’s 2016 Presidential Election
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In recent years, the internet has become more and more important in elections.Since the internet has become a major source of information for voters whilst also providing a platform for people to discuss politics, it can be concluded that the internet has a major impact on voters’ decisions. Therefore, it has become important for more studies to be focused on this phenomenon. Due to the social nature of the internet with the fast-paced societal changes which it brings about, this study uses a sociological approach of voting behavior to understanding this phenomenon. However, this does not suggest that the internet and new social media are eclipsing the more traditional forms of social contexts. Instead, this study suggests that new social media and social contexts are indicative of new and interesting changes taking place.

This study concentrates on the 2016 presidential election and specifically looks
at different contextual factors. These include social environment, interpersonal discussion, traditional media and social media. This research conducted both a telephone survey and a web survey. After controlling for party identification, we find that interpersonal discussion and TV news have significant effects on voter choice in the telephone survey. Social media only showed their impact in the web survey. Ourresearch suggests that we cannot ignore social context factors.