Nghiên cứu mới cho thấy những cuộc thăm dò bị trật trong năm 2016 và có thể trật vào năm 2020: Những người giữ bí mật lựa chọn của họ khi đi bầu
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New Research Shows What Polls Missed in 2016 and Could Miss in 2020: People Who Kept Their Vote Secret
Columbia Business School Study Surveys 2016 Voters Who Kept their Votes a Secret, Finding that 54% of Them Voted for Trump
Reputation, Belonging, and Social Harmony All Primary Reasons People Kept Vote A Secret
NEW YORK, May 21, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — In the days after the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election, in which Republican Donald Trump defied expectations in multiple states to win the White House, many in the national media explored the question of why public polls overestimated Democrat Hillary Clinton’s support and underestimated Trump. Columbia Business School Professor Michael Slepian, an expert on the psychology of secrets, took the question straight to voters – studying 1,000 voters who publicly pledged their intention to vote for one candidate while keeping their 2016 choice a secret from their family, friends, and community.
Their clear choice for President was Donald Trump. As the President pursues reelection in 2020 against a crowded field of contenders, the phenomenon of voters choosing to conceal their true preferences could once again have an impact – both in polling and in the final election results. The new research makes clear that American voters indeed are concerned about the reputational implications of their political support, which could lead to an even stronger decline in transparency.
In Slepian’s new study, Motivated Secrecy, 1,000 participants were included if they told “someone” about an intention to vote for one candidate, while ultimately voting for a different candidate. But the study shows that participants weren’t just keeping the secret to keep the peace with strangers. A majority kept the secret from people closest to them like their family, their friends, and romantic partners. These secret voters concealed their preferred candidate for many reasons: fear of hurting their reputation, not belonging, or ruining social harmony in a contentious election.
Of the study’s participants, 57% of men and 50% of women secretly voted for Trump. While participants were from all over the country, there were high concentrations of participants who kept their vote for Trump a secret in Florida, Pennsylvania, and California.
“Political polarization – particularly when it comes to the presidency – has reached such a peak that many American voters would rather mislead people close to them than explain their preferences for one candidate over another,” said Columbia Business School Professor Michael Slepian. “Our participants were primarily worried that their support would create conflict with those around them or that their reputation would suffer if their family, friends, and loved ones found out who they truly cast their vote for. More importantly, the participants often thought about their secret after the election, with their vote having a lasting impact on their feelings of regret and the way they viewed themselves.”
The new research also suggests that the difficult part of keeping a secret isn’t the concealment; it’s that a person’s mind tends to revisit the secret, causing anxiety, regret, and a feeling of inauthenticity. Participants who concealed their vote felt that they were not being authentic with those around them and often thought of their secret outside of social interactions.
“We found that the more emphasis a participant placed on concern for their own reputation, the more often they thought about their secret outside of social interactions where they may need to conceal it,” said Professor Slepian. “Keeping secrets causes anxiety and affects the ability to engage in open discourse. Many of our participants were grateful for the chance to participate in this study, which allowed them to voice their true opinions.”
Professor Slepian, and Professors Rachel McDonald, Jessica Salerno, and Katharine Greenaway, recruited study participants through an online survey posted shortly after the 2016 election. The participants were asked about what motivated them to keep their vote a secret, who they kept their choice from, and how they felt when their mind wandered to their secret. Their major findings concluded that:
Voters Who Reported Concealing Their Preference Overwhelmingly Preferred Donald Trump: The study found that while only 27% secretly voted for Hillary Clinton, 54% of participants secretly voted for Donald Trump, informing why the polls were drastically different than the outcome of the election.
Partisanship Did Not Impact the Effects of Secrecy: Partisanship had only minor effects on the results of the study. The study found that more conservative participants expressed less regret about keeping their vote a secret, while more liberal voters wished they had expressed more support for Clinton before the election.
Voters Concealed Their Secret from Those They Are Close With: Overwhelmingly, participants in the study chose to conceal who they voted for from family, friends, and partners, with a smaller number of people reporting they concealed their preference from a coworker, neighbor, classmate, or boss.
Participants Were Concerned with Reputation and Fitting In: A major concern of most participants was how they would be viewed if others found out their vote. Participants responded that the reasons for their secrecy were that they didn’t want to be viewed as a person who supported their preferred candidate, and they were worried that people in their life would view them differently or think poorly of them.
The study, Motivated Secrecy, will be published in an upcoming issue of Motivation Science.
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SOURCE Columbia Business School
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