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To what degree is sympathy towards a political party caused by the act of voting? (Cognitive dissonance)

Imagine being a first-time-voter, uninformed about the different political parties. It is easy to see, that you are likely to vote for the same party as your parents. Maybe you felt sympathy to that party before. Perhaps you did not care.

My question is, does the sympathy rise because of the act of voting?

You do not want to admit that you did a mistake. You start to filter information to match your action.
But cognitive dissonance is more than that: In an election there are always alternatives. You have to compromise, causing a cognitive dissonance, especially when your choice was wrong. You want to solve the dissonance by devaluing the alternative and appreciating the party you voted for.

This could also explain, why voters sometimes dislike rather similar parties more than differing parties. I see this in left parties in Germany.
I think it affects left parties more than other parties, because they want to help the poor, which is a very important and emotional topic.
Could this be a cause for the uprise of right parties? The left parties quarrel and the right parties rejoice? Can we overcome cognitive dissonance to act in concert?

What do you think about this?


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    Aug 21 2013: I think that is a fascinating analysis. Upon aligning yourself with a political party you become more likely to ignore its faults because you are personally aligned with them.

    I like this talk on political affiliations by Jonathan Haidt:

    I think more humility in political discussions could lead to better compromise between political parties. I think more and more the futility of the current system is becoming apparent. It would be wonderful if that frustration could lead to change.
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      Aug 21 2013: I think more humility would lead to better everything. (IMHO).
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        Aug 22 2013: I agree Edward. If only it was easier to come by:)
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      Aug 21 2013: Thank you for your answer!!! I like it!
      I don't have much time at hand, so I can't watch the talk right now. But I will do it in a few days!

      Thanks everyone for discussing!

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