DERIVATION AND RATIONALIZATION PROCESSES IN VOTING DECISIONS
Languages of publication
The article discusses the importance of social categorization processes for citizens' voting decisions. Using impression formation concepts, the authors analyzed situations in which an individual makes political choices. Two types of processes which may occur while making a decision to support a politician - derivation and rationalization - were contrasted. Derivation is defined as a process during which voting decisions are a consequence of individual evaluations of particular pieces of information about the candidate and his or her qualities. Rationalization assumes that the choice of a candidate is based on the voter's general, overall evaluation. An analysis was conducted based on the data collected during the Polish presidential elections of 1995 and 2000 in order to find out how often these two ways of evaluation are used. The results suggest that in their evaluation of the candidates, voters use both derivation and rationalization. However, the main determinant of a choice of candidate is the general, overall evaluation. The elements connected with the evaluation of a candidate's image have less direct influence. In addition, the processes of forming voting decisions also depend on the current political situation. The results can then be treated as an indirect confirmation of the assumption that when evaluating social objects man behaves like a 'motivated tactician'. Depending on his needs and goals, he switches from more laborious ways of evaluating to less laborious ones and the other way round.
Publication order reference
CEJSH db identifier