Access

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

If you need an accessible version of this item please contact JSTOR User Support

Contrasting Rational and Psychological Analyses of Political Choice

George A. Quattrone and Amos Tversky
The American Political Science Review
Vol. 82, No. 3 (Sep., 1988), pp. 719-736
DOI: 10.2307/1962487
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1962487
Page Count: 18
  • Read Online (Free)
  • Subscribe ($19.50)
  • Cite this Item
If you need an accessible version of this item please contact JSTOR User Support
Contrasting Rational and Psychological Analyses of Political Choice
Preview not available

Abstract

We contrast the rational theory of choice in the form of expected utility theory with descriptive psychological analysis in the form of prospect theory, using problems involving the choice between political candidates and public referendum issues. The results showed that the assumptions underlying the classical theory of risky choice are systematically violated in the manner predicted by prospect theory. In particular, our respondents exhibited risk aversion in the domain of gains, risk seeking in the domain of losses, and a greater sensitivity to losses than to gains. This is consistent with the advantage of the incumbent under normal conditions and the potential advantage of the challenger in bad times. The results further show how a shift in the reference point could lead to reversals of preferences in the evaluation of political and economic options, contrary to the assumption of invariance. Finally, we contrast the normative and descriptive analyses of uncertainty in choice and address the rationality of voting.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
719
    719
  • Thumbnail: Page 
720
    720
  • Thumbnail: Page 
721
    721
  • Thumbnail: Page 
722
    722
  • Thumbnail: Page 
723
    723
  • Thumbnail: Page 
724
    724
  • Thumbnail: Page 
725
    725
  • Thumbnail: Page 
726
    726
  • Thumbnail: Page 
727
    727
  • Thumbnail: Page 
728
    728
  • Thumbnail: Page 
729
    729
  • Thumbnail: Page 
730
    730
  • Thumbnail: Page 
731
    731
  • Thumbnail: Page 
732
    732
  • Thumbnail: Page 
733
    733
  • Thumbnail: Page 
734
    734
  • Thumbnail: Page 
735
    735
  • Thumbnail: Page 
736
    736