Voting Behaviours

April 2015

 I stressed that although we think of ourselves as rational decision makers voting on the basis of preferred policies, there is a good deal of more unconscious and emotional processing going on which can influence our final decision.  This is particularly important for this election because many voters will be trying to vote more strategically, and therefore using a more planned approach (rather than relying on past behaviour), and, in addition, there is more actual choice, and so these hidden processes may have more of an influence because of information overload.  I talked about the way that negative campaigning and personal attacks can influence implicit but not self-reported attitudes and that certain voting behaviours can even be affected by the weather (in bad weather we like to avoid risk), and by the location of the polling station (we tend to be more conservative when we vote in a church).  In other words, we may not be as rational as we think we are in deciding the future of our country.