Bias in voting behaviour: endogenous and exogenous factors

Noh, Zamira (2017) Bias in voting behaviour: endogenous and exogenous factors. PhD thesis, University of Lincoln.

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Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Item Status:Live Archive


Despite the vast research on the social bias in decision-making, relatively little is
known about biases in voting behaviour. The main aim of this research was to explore
alternative indirect methods to observe biases in decision-making and voting behaviour. A
proximity bias was first observed in the rather unusual setting of the Weakest Link TV
game show, when contestants avoided casting negative votes against their closest
neighbours. This proximity bias was most profound for the contestant closest to the voter.
Two field experiments were designed to test whether this Neighbour Effect occurred in
different social contexts, among the first-year undergraduate students. The first study asked
first-year undergraduate students in a lecture (n=449) to vote for another person seated in
the same row. The same Neighbour Effect occurred when the vote carried a nasty
(negative) outcome for the recipient however, when the vote valence changed to a nice
(positive) outcome the Neighbour Effect disappeared. In negative voting, the result of the
field experiment confirmed the original observation in the Weakest Link. However, a
reverse polarity voting pattern was also found in the positive voting. This suggests
participants significantly favoured their closest neighbour(s). The second field experiment
used Prisoner’s Dilemma with undergraduates in a lecture theatre (n= 229) to test the
Neighbour Effect. The undergraduates played the game with another player seated in the
same row and in the same block in a lecture theatre. The results showed a neighbour effect
because the players were significantly more likely to cooperate with a neighbour that a
non-neighbour. To conclude the findings from this study suggested that the Neighbour
Effect is a robust bias in strategic decision-making and voting.

Keywords:Decision-making, Neighbour Effect, Vote Valence, Voting, Prisoner’s Dilemma
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C880 Social Psychology
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Psychology
ID Code:28661
Deposited On:31 Aug 2017 11:58

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