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Data from: The effect of language on voter opinion: Results from a survey experiment in Thailand

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posted on 2018-07-01, 00:00 authored by I. RICKS Jacob

This record contains the underlying research data for the publication "The effect of language on voter opinion: Results from a survey experiment in Thailand" and the full-text is available from:

Politicians have long engaged in marketing themselves by employing distinct speaking styles to signal social standing, competence, or a shared background with their audience. What effect does this use of different language appeals have on voter opinion? Utilizing a survey experiment in Thailand, I test a set of hypotheses about the effect of language on respondent opinions. Relying on three distinct treatments, a formal language register, an informal language register, and an ethnic language, I demonstrate the multiple effects of language on political appeal. The use of a formal register has mixed effects, signaling both high education as well as preparation for national office while also creating social distance between the speaker and audience. An informal register and the ethnic tongue both signal kinship ties to listeners, with the ethnic tongue having a much more profound effect. The results also show that an ethnic overture has greater electoral appeal than formal speech. These findings highlight the causal effect language has in shaping political opinions and illustrate the varied impacts of linguistic hierarchies on political appeal. [Data available at]


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