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Title Targeting Domestic Public Opinion With the Military: A Gun Control Survey Experiment
Post date 03/13/2019
C1 Background and Explanation of Rationale Previous research on gun control study the effects of mass shootings and other violence on gun control attitudes. On both side of the gun control debate, different actors have utilized members of the military to speak in favor/against additional gun control legislation. This survey experiment seeks to empirically capture the effect of these appeals on gun control attitudes.
C2 What are the hypotheses to be tested?

• H 1 : I hypothesize that the military posts will generate greater attitudinal change on the topic of gun control than the civilian posts on comparable message content.
• H 2 : I hypothesize that military members will have a limited ability to persuade. Put more simply, the military image will not be strong enough to overcome partisan and tribal factors in a respondent’s decision making (i.e. Democrats will not favor gun rights and Republicans will not support gun control).
• H 3 : Statements made by military members will strengthen previously held views (i.e. those who support gun control will strengthen their support after reading something they agree with, see Kunda 1990; Druckman, Peterson and Slothuus 2013 for more on motivated reasoning).
• H 4 : The largest persuasion effects will be found by independents and moderates with the most malleable attitudes, not strong partisan

C3 How will these hypotheses be tested? * I will test these hypotheses through a five-armed survey experiment. I will ask four questions on gun control and create a scaled gun control attitude measure utilizing principal components analysis with varimax rotation. I will compare the four treatment groups to the control group as well as conduct regression analysis for the two treatments with an interaction term (for more specific details, please see attached pre-analysis plan.
C4 Country United States
C5 Scale (# of Units) 2500
C6 Was a power analysis conducted prior to data collection? Yes
C7 Has this research received Insitutional Review Board (IRB) or ethics committee approval? Yes
C8 IRB Number Yale University- 2000024194
C9 Date of IRB Approval October 31, 2018
C10 Will the intervention be implemented by the researcher or a third party? Researchers
C11 Did any of the research team receive remuneration from the implementing agency for taking part in this research? No
C12 If relevant, is there an advance agreement with the implementation group that all results can be published? not provided by authors
C13 JEL Classification(s) not provided by authors