Essay paper online: The Psychology of Voting Behavior

One of the major areas of research, which constantly attract attention of political scientists and sociologists, is the voting behavior of different groups. The reason for that is that the effectiveness of the interaction of political leaders and the electorate is largely due to whether the candidate takes into account the requirements of society, values”‹”‹, needs, current problems of population and, on the other hand, the personal qualities of the leader and how he is perceived by voters. The study of these aspects is particularly important for the success of the electoral campaign, and is necessary in the prognostic modeling of the behavior of politicians, development of strategies and tactics of the campaign, for psychologists, counselors and political consultants during democratic elections.

The main provisions considered in the paper are:
1. The necessary condition for the success of any campaign is study and consideration of socio-psychological determinants of electoral behavior.
2. The behavior of the electorate is determined by the needs, motives, value orientations, ideological preferences of voters.

The Psychology of Voting Behavior

The electoral behavior of citizens was investigated under three main approaches: sociological (P. Lazarsfeld, B. Berelson, J.Godet, W. McFee, S. Lipset and S. Rokkan), socio-psychological (E. Campbell, P.Converse, W. Miller, D. Stokes, etc) and an approach based on rational choice theory(Buchanan, G. Tullock, E. Downs, etc). Later, some of these approaches have been developed in the works of M.P. Fiorino, G. Simon, R. and J. Spargo Hakfelda, M. Lodgeand Charles Taber, and many others. (Houghton 2008)

Based on the analysis of theories and concepts of electoral behavior and its essential characteristics, the concept of “voting behavior” can be defined as collective or individual actions of social actors, involved in delegation of authority of political actors on the basis of a complex objective and subjective, rational and irrational determinants. (Houghton 2008)

It is necessary to consider the different approaches to the study of electoral behavior: the sociological, psychological and social approach based on rational choice theory.

Leave a Reply