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Unformatted text preview: This paper will discuss the effects of agendas and voting procedures in elections. According to R.D. Black, the outcome of any given attempt to determine a group choice theoretically depends upon the particular method that is used (562). After the completion of an experiment, Levine and Plott, made two general claims about voting influence. The first is that agendas or groupings in which alternatives are considered for adoption or elimination can be a major parameter in determine what a group will ultimately choose. The second is that the nature of this influence is sufficiently systematic to yield to an analytical model. The theory of this experiment is that an agenda influences outcome in two ways. The theory of this experiment is that an agenda influences outcome in two ways. First, it limits the information available to individual decision makers about the patterns of preference in the group (564). When in a large group, the most apparent way to reveal the preferences of the individual is to vote. The agenda then determines what each vote will determine. There are other ways to reveal the preferences of individuals but voting is the most dependable. When in a group, each individual finds himself in a position in which his behavior will be consistent with theories about decision making under uncertainty (565). The feelings of this individual range from favorable to unfavorable and he will make a decision that has the highest expected value 1 . Second, the agenda determines the set of strategies available to the individual. The individual is given the opportunity to choose among outcomes, but the agenda determines the outcomes that are voted upon. The individual will utilize the strategy that chooses the most desired alternative out of the available options. So, by controlling the influences of others' preferences and by determining the set of strategies available to him, the agenda effectively 1 The idea of expected value is that, when faced with a number of actions, each of which could give rise to more than one possible outcome with different probabilities, the rational procedure is to identify all possible outcomes, determine their values (positive or negative) and the probabilities that will result from each course of action, and multiply the two to give an expected value. The action to be chosen should be the one that gives rise to the highest total expected value. influences the voting pattern of each individual in the group (565). The form of the agenda used in the experiment is represented by a structured set of alternatives. Within an agenda, an item eliminates the other alternatives. When an agenda is formed, the influences that affect each person individually must be considered. When each individual is faced with options, they value the options in a way that is unique to them. A value of each option is calculated and then ranked in terms of preference. In addition to this, individuals make decisions based on these voting hypotheses:...
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This note was uploaded on 11/27/2011 for the course ECON 310S taught by Professor Capra during the Spring '08 term at Emory.
- Spring '08