The following video seems extra topical and intriguing, as UK citizens – including me – visit polling stations to cast their vote today.
Despite the archaic first-past-the-post election basis, there remains a slim hope for many of my fellow voters that their vote will count in deciding the next British (coalition) government and parliament. Yet, aside from political party propaganda and rhetorical promises, how many voters will succumb to the apparent human weakness of ‘loss aversion’?
Permit the video to explain. This short clip shows a simple ’50-50′ game of chance. In classic vox pop style, the game is played by willing passers by – random people happily engaged by the man on the mic (a physicist who popularises science through short videos).
The game and the ensuing chats illustrate loss aversion.
People tend to place greater value on what they might lose as compared to what they may gain, irrespective of equal chance… and, perhaps most interesting, even when given improving odds.
As a brief slice of simple, useful science it holds a lasting life lesson for all – including swayable British voters who today face the stalemate of like-minded (not just lookalike) political parties on the ballot paper…