Emotional Success

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Individuals’ motivations and voting trends


Individuals’ motivations and voting TRENDS

  • Growing antipathy to those in opposite political camp
  • Party affiliation is helping create intense division
  • Media –so many platforms that aim to make profit. Thus this spawns more partisan networks and “news” websites. It turns up the volume of the partisan conflict, but not the cause.
  • Membership of group- religious, political party, gender– is basis for self-identity, and people tend to believe all the group believes.
  • People want to promote their group so partisan info that supports belief more acceptable (motivated reasoning).
    • Especially as “motivated reasoners” are more likely to believe comments attributed to their “leader” or group rather than those of “conflicting party supposed members”.
    • People less likely to believe retractions that leader or member of group made to say had misspoken; indeed perversely this can reinforce belief in the misinformed information.
  • People are motivated to defend & justify their “status quo” because they are part of that “status quo”. Hence will reject “status quo” of conflicting party.

Political affiliation depends on where one is on spectrum of

  • Power distance characterizes one’s view of human inequality & prestige wealth, power versus the “need” for equality and sharing. These views will be held with some rigidity and people with high power distance ranking will tend to be more authoritarian and favor social hierarchies.
  • Individualism & collectivism; how people live together – nuclear families extended families and tribes. Individuals tend to be more aggressive and prefer more authoritarian approach. Collectivists tend to look more long term, like their structure and security and respect for elders.
  • Masculinity/ femininity—in general women attach more significance to relationships helping others and physical environment, while men go for careers money and ego goals (though this is based on data from the eighties and has changed significantly- especially in Europe).
  • Uncertainty avoidance- uncertainty avoidance = use of rules, rituals, law and technology to avert uncertainty. Those with high uncertainty avoidance tend to be more authoritarian and more rigid, and are intolerant of different opinions; those who can accept more ambiguity treat it as a challenge and explore more options such as those in high-tech positions or less rule-bound tasks.


  • Rational arguments will not swing an election unless can persuade other that opposing group’s views better fit that person’s self-identity and their “Status Quo” is now linked elsewhere.
  • Moral arguments about equality will not work per se; need to show that previously held views could create more uncertainty and that there is a self-benefit.

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