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A Behavioral Theory of Elections$
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Jonathan Bendor, Daniel Diermeier, David A. Siegel, and Michael M. Ting

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780691135076

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691135076.001.0001

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Bounded Rationality and Elections

Bounded Rationality and Elections

(p.1) Chapter One Bounded Rationality and Elections
A Behavioral Theory of Elections

Jonathan Bendor

Daniel Diermeier

David A. Siegel

Michael M. Ting

Princeton University Press

This book discusses a behavioral theory of elections based on bounded rationality. As a research program, bounded rationality contains a set of alternative formulations, rather than a single theory or model. The issues raised by the bounded rationality program—the impact of cognitive constraints on behavior—are as pertinent to politics as they are to markets, perhaps even more so. This is evident in the subfield of elections. This chapter considers two major topics that are central to a behavioral theory of elections: framing and heuristics. It also explores aspiration-based adaptive rules (ABARs), the relation between the research programs of bounded rationality and rational choice, voter turnout, and the cognitive capacities of voters and politicians. Finally, it provides an overview of the topics tackled in the book.

Keywords:   behavioral theory, elections, bounded rationality, framing, heuristics, aspiration-based adaptive rule, rational choice, voters, voter turnout, politicians

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