Political neuromarketing: An empirical research on voter decision-making

Cecilia Veneziano

Student thesis: Master thesis

Abstract

The better understanding of the decision-making process behind voters’ choice has been the challenging purpose of this research, with the aim to answer marketers’, politicians’, and citizens’ doubts about the fully deliberateness of political behaviors. To fulfill this request, our research has proposed to improve current explanations with a new interdisciplinary approach. Economist’s models and Consumer Behavior theories have been supported by Neuromarketing which, for the first time, has exceed the lacking comprehension of unconscious in voter’s mind. This study has tested empirically the assumed existence of relevant unaware sub-steps in voters’ choice process, overcoming the barriers of consciousness with the use of a recent cognitive methodology. The Implicit Association Test (IAT; Greenwald et. al, 2003) has made achievable to quantitatively measure the unconscious political attitudes of 68 respondents through an experiment in the Italian context. The relation between those implicit attitudes and respective explicit preferences - collected through normal surveys - has been outlined (r=.46); further analyses have also evidenced undecided voters’ attitudes and Parties/Leader differences in preference structure. Discrepancies and correlations between what subjects expressed and what they unconsciously perceived during the test have generated a discussion about the necessity to include implicit attitudes in the functioning of voter’s decision-making. A new model of voting behavior framing this process has been introduced, with the opportunity of further improvements. In conclusion, the explanation of this socially relevant behavior has shown impressive implications, contributing to political marketing and forecasts practices, but it has also required advanced considerations on ethical applications of this knowledge.

EducationsCand.merc.smc Strategic Market Creation, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
LanguageEnglish
Publication date2011
Number of pages86