[EM] Approval Strategy for the Average Citizen

Bart Ingles bartman at netgate.net
Wed Jul 17 20:36:11 PDT 2002

I could see how a coin toss strategy might actually be preferred by a
nearly indifferent voter who suspects he or she has been influenced more
by campaign tactics than by real data.


Joe Weinstein wrote:
> 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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