Voters are blind in an election

20 Dec

vote-for-me-sizedThere’s a study out in the American Political Science Review that we want to share.

Mostly because we’re self-centered and it backs up something we’ve said for years:
People think politicians are crooks – except for the ones they vote for.

And they do it over and over again, every election.

The study (which is behind a registration firewall) suggests the average voter doesn’t have the ability “to make an accurate judgement of the performance of their politicians, showing that voter biases appear to be deep-seated and broad.”

In other words, what you believe is what you will see.

The researchers found that voters “are susceptible to these biases even when given financial incentives to behave otherwise and when the information necessary to avoid these biases was readily available.”

In other words, you aren’t going to change your mind, no matter what.

As a result, the authors conclude “that incumbents who associate themselves with good news for which they bear no responsibility, implement policies that generate good news close to elections at the expense of overall voter welfare, and use rhetoric that encourages people to focus on how they feel in the here and now, ignoring the long-term, could benefit at the ballot box.”

In other works, they’ll pander to you, and you’ll buy it.

One Response to “Voters are blind in an election”

  1. John December 21, 2012 at 11:58 am #

    I Love this post!

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