The Psychology of Voting and Politics; Do You Make Good Decisions and are You Qualified to Choose a President?
If you're reading this...Hell no, you can't be trusted with a ballot
You can't even be trusted to walk into a grocery store. Yes, people all around you are tricking you into making decisions for you...or at least highly influencing them. The psychology of sales is one aspect that retailers use to get you to buy more or things you don't need. Does this "tricking" work when you pick up your ballot to vote? Oh yes, it's working long before you even pick up that ballot. Headlines about the candidates are streaming your yahoo! page, Google, magazines, and on TV- it's everywhere. If you're connected, you're influenced.
The other day I saw a headline about "What Does Romney know about Black America?". Really? What does Obama know about black America- he grew up with a nanny. How many black Americans (the lower class that the media is referring to) do you know have a nanny? With that headline alone, the media formed an opinion for us. Also note, about 10% of college students attending Harvard or Columbia (two colleges Obama attended) are African American. This shows that Obama was/is not in the majority of the population considered "Black America".
And women? You're not off the hook either. We (actually I don't) spend about $30 billion, increasing dramatically every year, on anti-aging creams. Yet I've seen this campaign rouse up concern for women because the Republican party candidates have stated things that concern women- such as Republicans doing away with Planned Parenthood. Here's the deal, you don't like it (and I'm not saying any of this is true) then put your money where your mouth is. I've seen headlines about 'why women should not vote for Romney', but what are these women doing....actively as a citizen? Spending money on anti-wrinkle creams. Truth is, there is more concern over wrinkles than the future of our country.
I want to know what Obama, or any other candidate, is going to do for the majority of America (black, purple, green, and white). First, we should identify the main issue our country is facing- this would probably be security and economy. Get involved- friend of mine has a non-party/all-party organization, or start your own. And the least you can do is your research on who is the best candidate- that's your decision. So let's discuss how you make that decision.
I know a guy...
- HousefireProject.com - Home
The Housefire Project is a grassroots not-for-profit organization with some very bold and aggressive goals and with an iron clad game plan for success . One of the things that make us totally unique is the fact that we're made up of all parties
The BIG Easy!
Mental Effort: LOW. Is this making you feel any better yet? It's true, many people choose (and vote) for the name most recognized- the easiest decision, the least effort. This is how we vote for president? Often times, Yes! Why do you think we have to tolerate those annoying campaign ads on TV? Most people choose/vote based on whatever the easiest route it, the most familiar name, etc.
Easy decisions also entail whatever is easiest on you between family and friends. So not only will most people make an easy/quick decision, going for the name most recognized as related to good media and publicity, but they will make a choice based on what will appease friends and family as well. Nobody likes to cause strife between those we're close to so of course, if it means more to them, then why not vote for who they're voting for or telling you to vote for? Who thinks for themselves anymore?
I'll give you a few reasons you shouldn't follow, but first and foremost, those people are not any more knowledgeable about their vote than you. Yes, they probably know a lot more useless information than you, but they are repeating what the media has fed to them as well.
The pressure is on: There is so much pressure to just vote. Maybe it's your favorite celebrity that is telling you to be cool and vote, but whatever the input is, there really needs to be more pressure on being knowledgeable about voting and good decision-making. So should you vote if you are not informed? Good question.
What motivates people to vote?
- People are more motivated by the threat of a potentially bad candidate than a good one.
- People will not vote if they don't like either candidates and will also not vote if they like both. The past couple of decades has produced more candidates that are middle of the road and stand firmly on middle ground, meaning neither is passionate about major issues.
- People vote based on negative campaign ads. They want to vote against the villain so those annoying, harsh, campaign ads work.
- Personalities decide who wins and who loses. If we like someone then the issues fall by the wayside.
- First impressions matter. Most people don't follow a politician until they're a presidential candidate then they go off first impression rather than history of handling issues, etc.
- Most recent info trumps. Candidates spend majority of their money on their campaign right before people vote. People vote based on most recent info they hear or see.
A REALLY WEIRD twist of events
I think it's become popular to be a Democrat. This is just my opinion but I see the media and journalism headlines, many popular celebrities boasting their election choices, and even facebook posts. I'm a bit of a rebel so I've got to question this of course. Since the Obama election of 2008, you may have been considered prejudice and God forbid anybody be less than politically correct, if you did not vote for him.
But let me remind you...and play a little Devil's advocate. You may assume I am Republican for stating the following, but I am non-party/non-partisan. Give me the best guy (or gal) for the job. Give me results that I see sooner than later. I am merely providing an example of truly being educated about your vote. Know your history and know your candidates. Don't vote based on color (that's prejudice) and don't vote based on familiarity (that's ignorant).
Bet you didn't know...or maybe you forgot:
- Martin Luther King Jr and Sr were both Republicans.
- Abraham Lincoln was the first Republican president. Lincoln initiated the Civil War with the singular purpose of freeing the slaves.
- The percentage of Republicans who voted for the 1964 Civil Rights Act was higher than the percentage of Democrats who voted for the Act.
- The percentage of Republicans who voted for the 1965 Voting Rights Act was higher than the percentage of Democrats who voted for the Act.
"American students are less proficient in their nation’s history than in any other subject, according to results of a nationwide test released mid 2011, with most fourth graders unable to say why Abraham Lincoln was an important figure." Sam Dillon, New York Times. "U.S Students Remain Poor at History, Tests show".
OMG, these are future voters!
This guy was a Republican?
How to Make Good Decisions
- Make Mistakes: We can learn and actually become smarter from making mistakes. You voted for one candidate last time and perhaps now feel that it was a mistake- just an example.
- Don't be tired or sleepy: i have a 6 month old- I certainly know what it's like to be tired, but I know of several studies confirming that being tired while driving is worse than being drunk. Big wake-up call! “Let me sleep on it and get back to you tomorrow” is a good saying. Be sure to get a good night's sleep before voting.
- Rely on habits (good) and routine for not-so-important tasks and decisions, but use crucial judgment for bigger decisions.
- Know that emotion is involved: We all use emotion for making decisions. In fact, studies show people who have damage to the emotional centers of the brain are unable to make decisions. The best decisions are made using both logic and emotion.
- Don't take in too much information: But I'm telling you to make an educated vote, you protest. Yes, I say make an educated vote, not read all the information you see on the campaign that comes across your browser, email page, nightly news, magazine, or all the other garbage that contributes to information overload. Know some things about your history- as people often make decisions based on more recent info. I'm not asking you to be over-educated on voting and the candidates, I would just like people to know the basics, read past all the media hype, and pick quality resources to get info from.
What you should know. How to Vote: Quick version
- The Election Process Explained; Quick Guide
Every four years, on the first Tuesday (after the first Monday) in November, American citizens are given the opportunity to exercise the most fundamental guarantee of the Constitution of the United States—the right to cast a vote and elect their pres
Are you qualified to make big decisions like voting?
- Self Tests by Psychology Today
How well can you scrutinize a situation in order to break it down and solve the associated problems? Are you able to take a complicated issue and identify what is important and what information should be ignored?
- The Complete Idiot's Guide to Voting
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Voting - Explained firmly yet passionately (VIDEO)
- Dear America;How's That 2012 Election Working For Ya?
That Congress that I was talking about? It has a 9% approval rating. That’s the lowest approval rating in our country’s history. Yet in November, we are going to do the same thing that we always do. We are going to go to march to the voting booth lik
- If You Have Charisma, You can be President