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Jodi Beggs

How a Win for Obama Was a Win for Behavioral Economics...

By November 19, 2012

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A lot has been written about how Obama's electoral victory was also a win for the numbers people behind the polls, since some of them predicted a number of voting outcomes incredibly accurately. (Talking to you, Nate Silver.) What has gone less noticed is that the election outcome was also quite satisfying for the behavioral scientists who not only study voting patterns but also research ways to influence and motivate people.

For example, those of you who are on the Obama campaign's mailing list got an email inviting you to check out how many people with your first name had already voted. Seems random, right? Turns out that seeing people in a reference group that you can identify with in some way vote makes you more likely to vote yourself. Behavioral scientists know this and a lot of other interesting things, and now you can meet the "dream team" of behavioral researchers behind the Obama campaign.

If you want to read more on the geekery behind the election, check out what a prominent behavioral economist has to say regarding the role of polls and statistics in both predicting and affecting election outcomes.


May 7, 2013 at 3:48 am
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