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RATIONAL-IRRATIONAL ELECTORAL PREFERENCES, ALTRUISM AND EXPRESSIVE BEHAVIOR Print E-mail

Mihai Ungureanu

Abstract

Caplan (2000, 2001, 2006) proposed the rational-irrationality model arguing that irrationality is a good as any other, whose consumption is maximized in relation to its costs and benefits. Applying this model to the problem of electoral behavior Caplan implies that voters ‘afford’ many irrational beliefs, because the lack of individual decisiveness renders vote as a consequenceless act. This paper contributes to the development of knowledge by analyzing the compatibility of rational irrationality with active electoral behavior. Two important arguments are being proposed: First, Wittman’s (2008) intuition that rational irrationality is incompatible with voting could be supported only about a particular type of altruism, which Caplan actually seems to reject. Second, rational irrationality seems to be compatible with expressive motivations, reinforcing the conclusion that rational-irrational individuals are active voters in mass elections.

Key words: rational irrationality, pure altruism, imperfect altruism, decisiveness, expressive voting.

 

Mihai Ungureanu is a PHD Lecturer at the National University of Political and Administrative Sciences, Faculty of Political Science, Bucharest, Romania. This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 

Cite this article:
Ungureanu Mihai. RATIONAL-IRRATIONAL ELECTORAL PREFERENCES, ALTRUISM AND EXPRESSIVE BEHAVIOR . Innovative Issues and Approaches in Social Sciences, vol.8, no.1:8-27, DOI:http://dx.doi.org/10.12959/issn.1855-0541.IIASS-2015-no1-art01

Digital Object Identifier(DOI): http://dx.doi.org/10.12959/issn.1855-0541.IIASS-2015-no1-art01

View full text in pdf: http://www.iiass.com/pdf/IIASS-2015-no1-art01.pdf

 

 

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