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Correct Voting and Post-Election Regret

  • André Blais (a1) and Anja Kilibarda (a2)
  • Please note a correction has been issued for this article.

Abstract

Regret is a basic affect associated with individual choice. While much research in organizational science and consumer behavior has assessed the precedents and consequents of regret, little attention has been paid to regret in political science. The present study assesses the relationship between one of the most democratically consequential forms of political behavior—voting—and feelings of regret. We examine the extent to which citizens regret how they voted after doing so and the factors that might lead one individual to be more regretful than another. Relying on surveys in five different countries after 11 regional and national elections, we find not only that political information leads to a decrease in post-election regret, but also that having voted correctly, or having voted in accordance with one’s underlying preferences regardless of information, similarly mitigates regret. The effect of correct voting on regret is greater among the least informed.

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References

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