The first behavioral model is the sociological model, or the Columbia model. The sociological model is a product of the research conducted to explain the voting behavior of the 1940 presidential election. This model surveyed the residents of Erie County, Ohio and drew conclusions based on the data collected. “The sociological model uses group level characteristics such as SES, religion, and place of residence to explain how people vote” (Bond & Smith, 417). There are six sociological factors that are viewed as group characteristics that impact vote choice, and they are race, religion, gender, income, education, and family voting history.
The important findings of the researched conducted includes, but is not limited to, determining that people tend to vote in the same way that they and their family has voted previously. The sociologica...
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..., the assumption that one must be informed in order to make a rational decision, thus following the pattern of rational choice, is highly conflictual with the research indicating that the majority of Americans are simply not well informed about politics. It is because of this limitation, that the social-psychological model, as well as the rational choice model, “continue to provide the most accepted explanations of voting behavior.” (Bond & Smith, 420).
Being that no one model rejects the other models and methods of determining voting behavior, it is safe to say that all three models have played an important role in the development of the field of political science. The social-psychological model, as well as the rational choice model, are the two models that best predict voting behavior, as well as establishing possible causes of why people vote the way they do.
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