Tags

, , , ,

Voting is perceived as free and rational. Citizens make whatever choices they wish, shielded from external influences by the privacy of the voting booth. The current paper, however, suggests that a subtle source of influence—polling places themselves—can impact voting behavior (…) A field experiment found that people completing questionnaires in a chapel awarded less money (relative to people in a secular building) to insurance claimants seeking compensation for abortion pills, but not to worker’s compensation claimants. A laboratory experiment found that people subliminally exposed to ecclesiastical images awarded less money (relative to people exposed to control images) to abortion pill claimants, but not to worker’s compensation claimants. (…) These findings show that polling locations can exert a powerful and precise influence on political attitudes and decision making.

This is part of the abstract of the paper Deus Ex Machina: The Influence of Polling Place on Voting Behavior written by Abraham Rutchik, from California State University, and published in the journal Political Psychology. Further confirmation that context affects how people behave. Abstract here (full article under pay wall).

Advertisements