Don’t Talk About Those Unpaid Bills

Intuition, and a long line of social science research, suggests that citizens are more motivated to become politically involved when an issue is personally important to them.

Why, then, is there relatively little continuing, large-scale advocacy on issues like stagnating wages, rising health care premiums and soaring tuition — issues that, polls show, worry Democrats and Republicans alike?

It turns out that political messages that mention economic insecurity often have the opposite effect from what we might expect: Those who are most likely to benefit are the ones least likely to act.

For many people, even those who have longstanding concerns about an issue, the decision to spend scarce time or money on advocacy depends on the kind of information that jumps out at them from a specific appeal to action.


Continue reading at The New York Times.