NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ776702
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Oct
Pages: 21
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0033-295X
Sophisticated Approval Voting, Ignorance Priors, and Plurality Heuristics: A Behavioral Social Choice Analysis in a Thurstonian Framework
Regenwetter, Michel; Ho, Moon-Ho R.; Tsetlin, Ilia
Psychological Review, v114 n4 p994-1014 Oct 2007
This project reconciles historically distinct paradigms at the interface between individual and social choice theory, as well as between rational and behavioral decision theory. The authors combine a utility-maximizing prescriptive rule for sophisticated approval voting with the ignorance prior heuristic from behavioral decision research and two types of plurality heuristics to model approval voting behavior. When using a sincere plurality heuristic, voters simplify their decision process by voting for their single favorite candidate. When using a strategic plurality heuristic, voters strategically focus their attention on the 2 front-runners and vote for their preferred candidate among these 2. Using a hierarchy of Thurstonian random utility models, the authors implemented these different decision rules and tested them statistically on 7 real world approval voting elections. They cross-validated their key findings via a psychological Internet experiment. Although a substantial number of voters used the plurality heuristic in the real elections, they did so sincerely, not strategically. Moreover, even though Thurstonian models do not force such agreement, the results show, in contrast to common wisdom about social choice rules, that the sincere social orders by Condorcet, Borda, plurality, and approval voting are identical in all 7 elections and in the Internet experiment.
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A