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Forum Post: Average voter is unable to accurately assess politicians, new research shows

Posted 5 years ago on Jan. 1, 2013, 9:57 a.m. EST by john32 (-272) from Pittsburgh, PA
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

Phys.org)—A new study has thrown doubt on the ability of the average voter to make an accurate judgement of the performance of their politicians, showing that voter biases appear to be deep-seated and broad. Prior research has suggested that random events such as shark attacks or hurricanes decrease the votes received by incumbent politicians, regardless of their actual performance in office. Similarly, voters appear to give undue weight to recent economic performance and are easily swayed by rhetoric. In a series of novel experiments, researchers Gregory A. Huber (Yale), Seth J. Hill (University of California, San Diego), and Gabriel S. Lenz (University of California, Berkeley) 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. This in turn makes voters vulnerable to being manipulated by politicians. The findings suggest 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 their study, "Source of Bias in Retrospective Decision Making: Experimental Evidence on Voters' Limitation in Controlling Incumbents," reported in the latest edition of the American Political Science Review (APSR) published by Cambridge University Press, Huber, Hill and Lenz asked around 4000 citizens to play a series of games assessing the performance of fictional politicians. As they played, they experienced changes in their earnings. The experiments also manipulated whether they won or lost in a lottery, when they learned about an upcoming election, and the rhetoric surrounding the election.





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[-] 2 points by OTP (-203) from Tampa, FL 5 years ago

/enˈtītlmənt/ Noun The fact of having a right to something. The amount to which a person has a right. Synonyms right - title - warrant

Nothing wrong with calling them entitlements- that what they are. Just because the right calls this an entitlement society doesnt mean that people arent entitled to certain things.

You have a job, you are entitled to a paycheck. Same thing.

[-] -1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 5 years ago

Using the terminology that the right chooses to denigrate the 99% with, is submitting to their will.

Social Security, Medicare, unemployement, are all earned benefits.

Get with the program or honestly claim your loyalty against the 99% who benefit from these programs they've earned.!

[-] 0 points by shoozTroll (17632) 5 years ago

Perhaps some links to how the term is used by FLAKESnews and or Limbaugh would help him understand how it's been propagandized.

I have but one word to add.............neurolinguistics.

[-] 0 points by VQkag2 (16478) 5 years ago

That would help. I will look. But as you know, He knows already.

He's too scared to respond to me directly but I am so sick of his dishonest comments.

No mercy, Suffer no fools, He needs to know his lies will be challenged without reservation.

[-] 1 points by john32 (-272) from Pittsburgh, PA 5 years ago

You talking about me?

[-] -1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 5 years ago

Are you OTP/Hchc? Are you afraid to respond to me directly?

[-] 2 points by OTP (-203) from Tampa, FL 5 years ago

Bingo. Its why its so important for Occupy to get out there and give them the real scoop, not the watered down MSM version.

Like this cliff nonsense. Ive been asked about it probably 100 times this Christmas season. Everyone thinks its either about taxing the rich or cutting entitlements. When in reality its really about putting on a show with very small, vague details in order to keep this bullshit economy going.

MSNBC right now: "Tell us how this deal was reached, and what were the key factors".... Gimme a fuckin break. This isnt a deal. Its a cop out. Its a freakin joke.

OccupyFOX #OccupyMSNBC

[-] 0 points by VQkag2 (16478) 5 years ago

Republican tea party right wing extremists created the fiscal cliff in a clumsy attempt to cut pgms for the poor, and save their wealthy puppet masters tax cuts.

That ain't bullshit. That's what happened.

I guess you play that reality down to provide them cover?

[-] -1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 5 years ago

And BTW we don't call them entitlements.!!

They are "Earned Benefits" that we paid into!!!

It is mainly the right wing wackos who like to slur these benefits as entitlements that we don't deserve.

[-] -1 points by aville (-678) 5 years ago

all those free ( paid for by taxpayers) obama phones are are entitlements?

[-] 0 points by VQkag2 (16478) 5 years ago

Free phone service for the poor began under Reagan.

Seems kinda petty though to bother with such a tiny amount.

Are you as outraged about the billions of corp welfare subsidies we give the obscenely profitable oil industry?

[-] -1 points by aville (-678) 5 years ago

tiny amounts add up to billions of wasted money

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 5 years ago

And large amounts add up to trillions!!

Are you as outraged about the billions of corp welfare subsidies we give the obscenely profitable oil industry?

Or just the hundreds spent on phones?


How come your afraid to answer?.

[-] -1 points by aville (-678) 5 years ago

fine. no farm subsidies, no RGGI , no " societal benefits charge on your electric bill, in fact no "charges" , "fee", ( taxes) on anything thing.the oil industry gets the same tax breaks that anyone with a business is entitled to according to the current tax laws.

[-] 0 points by VQkag2 (16478) 5 years ago

"Entitled"?!!!??? What are some kinda fuckin communist?

Are you outraged or not at the billions in corp welfare subsidies to the most profitable industry in human history, OR NOT?

Is it ok with you? Or not?

The free cell phones outrage you! what about the billions in corp welfare to the oil industry?

[-] 0 points by aville (-678) 5 years ago

Yes, entitled ,...........anyone with a business ( small or large)is allowed by the current tax code to deduct business expenses.

[-] 0 points by VQkag2 (16478) 5 years ago

Bullshit. Oil industry gets special corp welfare subsidies that no one gets.

So you're full of shit.

The free cell phones outrage you! what about the billions in corp welfare to the oil industry?

[-] 1 points by TrevorMnemonic (5827) 5 years ago

they base it on qualities, not issues. - Noam Chomsky


[-] 1 points by Gillian (1842) 5 years ago

New research shows this? Gee, I wonder how much those researchers got paid for making this 'discovery'. hahaha

Have we lost our minds and any commonsense? Of course we can't know our politicians. Even those of us who are objective and who dig through years of history and political detritus dont even know our politicians.

Most people vote by default- either for someone because they belong to the same party that their parents align with or based on some morally encrypted issue. Our politicians already know why and how people vote so why did we need research to discover this?

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33496) from Coon Rapids, MN 5 years ago

New research on an old topic already understood - By some.

Would be more cost efficient to hang on to the past research discoveries truths and keep them in circulation - with the ongoing announcements and inclusions of any actual new findings to be considered and entered into the existing body of knowledge.

Rediscovering/reinventing the wheel - never gets old does it?

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 5 years ago

Sounds like more nattering nabobs of negatism. Everyone is ignorant but him, guess we gotta give up. Find me corner to crawl into, and cry me a river.


Whatever, informing & educating ourselves & our fellow citizens is part of our civic duty.

So here is some info to help him. & anyone else.