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Title: Consumption of politics : it's not always a rational choice : the electoral decision-making of young voters
Author: Dean, Dianne
Awarding Body: University of Stirling
Current Institution: University of Stirling
Date of Award: 2006
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The aim of this thesis was to explore the efficacy of the rational choice model in the electoral decision making of young people. The initial view was that this was too narrow a concept to apply to a real world situation. Therefore, consumer behaviour theory was reviewed in order to find out how marketers understand consumer decision making and explore if this could add anything to electoral decision making. Using an ideographic approach, this research revealed a number of different groups that did not conform to the rational choice model. Moreover, it was interesting to discover that many voter and non-voter groups exhibit what can be described as irrational behaviour. Using education as a key variable and the Elaboration Likelihood Model as an analytical framework, it was possible to identify the different ways in which the groups built up their political knowledge and what effect this had upon the extent of their engagement with the electoral process. Two models were developed that described the various groups and their electoral behaviour. The thesis concludes by suggesting that engagement is limited to a small number of groups and the level of engagement is determined by a complex mix of education, life stage and the notion of risk.
Supervisor: Shaw, Eric D. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: rationality ; consumer behaviour ; electoral behaviour ; Young adults Political activity ; Elections Great Britain Voting ; Voting