This introductory chapter first sets out the book's purpose, which is to argue that, just as in economics and law, normative democratic theory must begin to pay attention to the picture of human choice described by empirical psychology. Thus, it develops a behavioral approach to normative democratic theory. The book focuses on judgment-based theories—those that construe votes as judgments about the common good (or collective interest), rather than as individual preferences over electoral outcomes. It also focuses on framing effects, which occur when different but equivalent formulations of a problem result in substantively different decisions being made. An overview of the subsequent chapters is also presented.
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