Tomorrow is Polling Day and “General Election” is a HOT topic now. Different voices are asking us to vote wisely, to vote rationally, to vote with our hearts. Are voters rational?

From a Economist’s perspective, Richard H. Thaler believe people made decisions within bounded rationality by looking at their acquisition and transaction utilities. By acquisition utility, he meant the actual monetary value that one is ready to pay out to get something in return. While, transaction utility refers to the value one attaches in getting something (the mental price that one is willing to pay). Thus, if the price that one is willing to pay is equal to or higher than the mental perceived value that one deemed for making a decision, the transaction utility becomes zero or negative. While if the price is lower than the mental value, the transaction utility will be positive. The higher the transaction utility, the likely hood one will “misbehave”. The term coined by Thaler in his book “Misbehaving: The making of behavioral economics” when people behave out of the norm (what is deemed rational and predictive in typical economic models) and that people have bounded rationality.

From a Philosopher’s perspective, Robert Nozick suggested that a perceived irrational decision made by a person might be linked to intangible benefits that have symbolic connection to that person’s desired outcome; thus people can made irrational decision even if there is seemingly no strong evidence causal connection between the decision and the outcome. Read more in R. Nozick’s “Nature of Rationality“.

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