Voting bias: the ‘neighbour effect’

Noh, Zamira and Goddard, Paul (2015) Voting bias: the ‘neighbour effect’. In: International Hokkaido Forum – Organisational Behaviour, Psychology and Education (iHope), 23 - 25 June, 2015, Sapporo ,Hokkaido, Japan.

iHope_ZN.pdf - Abstract

Item Type:Conference or Workshop contribution (Speech)
Item Status:Live Archive


The UK version of ‘The Weakest Link’ TV-game-show has been used to demonstrate a profound voting bias, as contestants significantly avoided voting for their direct neighbour(s) to be eliminated from the show as the weakest link (Goddard et al, 2013). To test this neighbour effect ouside of the TV studio, a sample of Freshers (year I undergraduates n=233) was seated in a lecture theatre and were asked to ‘vote’ for one of their peers seated on the same row.. Their vote either conferred a positive, neutral or negative outcome for its recipient, by ‘increasing’, ‘not-affecting’ or ‘decreasing’ the number of raffle tickets accrued for a subsequent lottery for course-related materials. The results indicated that the participants that cast a negative vote demonstrated a significant neighbour effect by not nominating their nearest neighbour. However, a reverse polarity pattern was found for participants issuing a positive vote (Noh et al, 2014). We suggest that the neighbour effect is a robust and strong bias in human decision making.

Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C880 Social Psychology
L Social studies > L110 Applied Economics
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Psychology
ID Code:20162
Deposited On:31 Jan 2016 15:52

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