In the run-up to the 2016 Presidential Election, many undecided voters are considering which was to cast their vote – and behavioural scientists have predicted that they will vote against a candidate, rather than for another.

Aradhna Krishna, professor at the University of Michigan, found that in situations where all the outcomes are bad, undecided stakeholders vote against one option rather than proactively for another option – so a choice is incidental.

Krishna notes that while the outcome is the same, this will significantly impact 2016’s election; “if people select between Clinton and Trump by using rejection rather than choice . . . they are less likely to be swayed by unimportant information about a candidate that they read or hear on radio, television or Facebook.”

Psychology applicants should consider the parallels between choice by rejection and the Asian disease problem. The Asian disease problem was a theoretical issue posed by behavioural economists in 1981, which saw that people choose positive elements and if there were none, avoided risk.

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