Inside the Mind of a Voter: A New Approach to Electoral Psychology

October 31, 2020
Inside the Mind of a Voter: A New Approach to Electoral Psychology

An in-depth look into the psychology of voters aroundthe world, how voters shape elections, and how elections transformcitizens and affect their livesCould understanding whether elections make people happy and bringthem closure matter more than who they vote for? What if people didnot vote for what they want but for what they believe is rightbased on roles they implicitly assume? Do elections make peoplecry? This book invites readers on a unique journey inside the mindof a voter using unprecedented data from the United States, theUnited Kingdom, Germany, France, South Africa, and Georgiathroughout a period when the world evolved from the centristdominance of Obama and Mandela to the shock victories of Brexit andTrump. Michael Bruter and Sarah Harrison explore three interrelatedaspects of the heart and mind of voters: the psychological bases oftheir behavior, how they experience elections and the emotions thisentails, and how and when elections bring democratic resolution.The authors examine unique concepts including electoral identity,atmosphere, ergonomics, and hostility.From filming the shadow of voters in the polling booth, to panelstudy surveys, election diaries, and interviews, Bruter andHarrison unveil insights into the conscious and subconscious sidesof citizens’ psychology throughout a unique decade for electoraldemocracy. They highlight how citizens’ personality, memory, andidentity affect their vote and experience of elections, whenelections generate hope or hopelessness, and how subtle differencesin electoral arrangements interact with voters’ psychology totrigger different emotions.Inside the Mind of a Voter radically shifts electoralscience, moving away from implicitly institution-centric visions ofbehavior to understand elections from the point of view ofvoters.