Yes, they do. In this article – which is now published in an issue of Political Studies Review –, I show that also political elites use heuristics (i.e., cognitive rules of thumb) in their judgment and decision making.
June, 2018 – How to use qualitative data in QCA?
Together with Debora de Block, I answer this question in a paper that addresses the challenges related to transforming qualitative into quantitative data in Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) and that has just appeared as EarlyView publication in Journal of Mixed Methods Research.
On 4-8 April 2018, I attend the MPSA Annual Conference in Chicago, United States, to present a paper (co-authored with Sjoerd Stolwijk) on whether politicians use the availability heuristic in their judgment and decision making.
November, 2017 – When do parties change their platform in-between elections?
Mariken van der Velden, Gijs Schumacher & I just published an article on when political parties change their platform in-between elections in Political Communication. Based on an analysis of >20,000 press releases from Dutch political parties between 1997 and 2014, we show that electoral defeat motivates party platform change in-between elections and that parties are thus backward looking (cf. the electoral performance mechanism) instead of forward-looking (the rational anticipation mechanism). We find this result of parties looking backward only for parties in opposition, though, and – interestingly – find no indication that this effect weakens over time. Our findings also provide mportant insights on the role of government participation.