[EM] Approval Strategy for the Average Citizen

Joe Weinstein jweins123 at hotmail.com
Wed Jul 17 14:00:28 PDT 2002

For an Approval electoral contest, Forest Simmons notes that the average 
citizen, when undecided on a given candidate and not motivated to do further 
research on that candidate, may as well determine his vote ('pass' or 
'fail') on the candidate by using quick coin-toss-triggered introspection.

Josh Narins notes that 'numerous studies' find that such introspection - in 
place of hard research - 'resulted in lower test scores'.

In other words, if you the voter base your vote on needed extra research, 
rather than on coin-toss-based introspection, the expected utility of your 
vote should be increased.

But this alleged fact, even if true, doesn't vitiate Forest's advice.  The 
expected utility of your TOTAL prep-and-vote process may well be (and indeed 
may well CLEARLY be) higher by foregoing troublesome or costly extra 
research and instead voting introspectively.

Joe Weinstein
Long Beach CA USA

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