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Title: Bias in voting behaviour : endogenous and exogenous factors
Author: Noh, Zamira
ISNI:       0000 0004 6422 1304
Awarding Body: University of Lincoln
Current Institution: University of Lincoln
Date of Award: 2017
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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.
Supervisor: Goddard, Paul Andrew Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: C880 Social Psychology