Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Anticipating a win -

dopamine levels peak - like gambling, addictive.


I was wondering why we want to win, while voting in an election.  The want seems disproportionate, compared to the average population's comprehension of world economy and politics and even interest in public policy. 

Folks do odd things, as individuals, during elections. 

And then there's this other thing about campaign funds and the amount of money spent in elections.  I think the amount of money required to win elections is on the rise. I mean its not just that the cost of stuff has increased, but actual activity.  The 2008 US Presidential election and the 2009 Indian Parliamentary election had similar US dollar amounts in campaign expenditure. A major part of the money goes to the media.  This should probably be analyzed in several dimensions with pretty complex connectivity between them, but at least a part of the increased activity is being required to peak dopamine (or whatever hormone) levels in people.  Is this because our baseline dopamine levels are increasing?  Its not like we are buying any mutant variety of governance at these increased prices.

April 16, 2011:  I just came across Satoshi Kanazawa's posts (in three parts) about democratic electoral voting and human psychology.  He starts by stating that voting is an irrational activity, then goes on to argue the various reasons why people vote and ultimately arrives at the hormonal link.  Except, he adds that women may not have this addiction to winning.