A Psycho-Political Analysis of Voting Pscyhology “An Empirical Study on Political Psychology”
İhsan Kurtbaş

Political researches assert that there are hundreds of factors that influence voter’s preferences and decisions. This study is based on hypotheses which suggest that: (a) all factors influencing the voting behaviour build a joint and collective psychology in voters, in the last instance, on the elections day; (b) the collective feeling is an important political motivation that politicise the voters; (c) voters who have a collective feeling have joint political approaches and make similar decisions; (d) factors such as voters’ sociodemographic characteristics; their prediction about the future of the country; their political knowledge and experience; the importance they attach to elections and their votes have a deep impact on the ‘collective feeling’, and; (e) elections are critical milestones that often relieve the voter who has been going through various emotions and fill him/her up with new emotions. To test these hypotheses, 478 voters in the Elazığ province of Turkey were surveyed during the Local Elections of 29 March 2009. The first stage of the survey, which consisted of a two-part form, was completed by voters before voting. The second stage, a follow up to the first form, was completed by the same voters straight after they had cast their votes. This way, the researcher was able to make a psycho-political analysis of the relationship between the factors that influenced voting behaviour and the ‘collective psyche’ voters develop immediately before and after voting. Based on some of the findings, 44.6% of the voters experienced negative feelings such as hesitation, anger, unhappiness, weariness, hate, guilt and fear immediately before they went to the ballot boxes. 29.8% said their mood changed straight after they had used their votes. The majority of the voters who harboured negative feelings before voting felt relieved afterwards. Although this means that using a vote has a somewhat relaxing side that relieves stress, it also indicates that voters cannot fully get out of the election psychology after voting. These and other findings confirmed all of the above hypotheses.

Full Text: PDF     DOI: 10.15640/jasps.v3n2a6