Voting at home is associated with lower cortisol than voting at the polls

Jayme Neiman, Karl Giuseffi, Kevin Smith, Jeffrey French, Israel Waismel-Manor, John Hibbing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Previous research finds that voting is a socially stressful activity associated with increases in cortisol levels. Here we extend this research by investigating whether different voting modalities have differential effects on the stress response to voting. Results from a field experiment conducted during the 2012 presidential elections strongly suggest that traditional "at the polls" voting is more stressful, as measured by increases in cortisol levels, than voting at home by mail-in ballot or engaging in comparable non-political social activities. These findings imply that increased low-stress voting options such as mail-in ballots may increase political participation among individuals who are sensitive to social stressors.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0135289
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number9
StatePublished - 3 Sep 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Neiman et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (all)
  • General


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