Rules of thumb can lead politicians to misjudge voters’ reactions

For continued electoral success and for the success of a proposed policy, it is important that decision-makers are able to judge how voters will react to the policy in question.

Systematic biases often lead policymakers to misjudge voters’ reactions to their policy decisions. Under severe time pressure, decision-makers often resort to rules of thumb, heuristics, to make assessments. Recent research shows, that biases concerning availability and representativeness play a role in misjudging voter’s reactions. More can be read about this new line of research here (in English) and here (in Dutch).

Butler, C., & Vis, B. (2022). Heuristics and policy responsiveness: A research agenda, European Political Science, 1-26. doi: 10.1057/s41304-022-00394-6.