How Voters Decide: Information Processing in Election by Richard R. Lau

By Richard R. Lau

This e-book makes an attempt to redirect the sector of vote casting habit study through providing a paradigm-shifting framework for learning voter determination making. An leading edge experimental technique is gifted for purchasing 'inside the heads' of electorate as they confront the overpowering rush of knowledge from sleek presidential election campaigns. 4 wide theoretically-defined forms of determination techniques that citizens hire to aid make a decision which candidate to aid are defined and operationally-defined. person and campaign-related components that lead citizens to undertake one or one other of those thoughts are tested. most significantly, this examine proposes a brand new normative concentration for the medical research of balloting habit: we should always care approximately not only which candidate got the main votes, but additionally what number electorate voted effectively - that's, according to their very own fully-informed personal tastes.

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We begin with a very basic idea. Voter decision making cannot be much different from most other decisions people make in their daily lives. There is nothing special about the political environment that should cause people to overcome magically the limitations of human cognition. Indeed, everything we know about how citizens view politics suggests that for most people, most of the time, politics is usually a minor concern. Yet in certain high-profile situations such as presidential elections, citizens can hardly avoid exposure to politics and to the steady stream of political information that is made available.

Behavioral decision theory research suggests that this dilemma occurs because people generally have two competing goals in decision making (see Hogarth, 1975; Lau, 2003; Payne, Bettman, and Johnson, 1993): (1) the desire to make a good decision and (2) the desire to reach a decision with minimal cognitive effort. This leads to another important distinction between rational choice and behavioral decision theory approaches. Rational choice focuses attention on the structure or elements of a decision – the multiple alternatives, the relative importance of each criterion of judgment to the decision maker, and the value of the different outcomes that are associated, with some probability, with each alternative.

Model 3: fast and frugal decision making In certain ways, our fourth voter, Teresa C, is like our optimization under constraints voter, Anne D, in that they both seem to have limited time for politics. Anne’s value judgments are based on her own self-interest, and her time constraints focus around the costs of information gathering. On the other hand, Teresa’s values are not so narrowly tangible and economic, and her constraints seem more focused on the costs of processing information rather than on gathering it per se.

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