The Decoy Effect and the Elections

What the decoy effect basically shows is that when people cannot decide between two front-runners, they use the third candidate as a sort of measuring stick. If one front-runner looks much better than the third candidate, people gravitate toward that front-runner. Third candidates, in other words, can make a complicated decision feel simple.
Curious Cat Science and Engineering Blog » The Decoy Effect

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

When the asymmetrically dominated option is present, a higher
percentage of consumers will prefer the dominating option than when theasymmetrically dominated option is absent. The asymmetrically dominated option is therefore a decoy serving to increase preference for the dominating option. The decoy effect is also an example of the violation of the independence of irrelevant alternatives axiom of decision theory.
Decoy effect - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

NPR Home Page

'the Decoy Effect' in Political Races

Saturday, April 14, 2007 · The presence of a
third candidate in political races often has the unintended effect of
benefiting one or the other of the two front runners.
NPR: Measuring 'the Decoy Effect' in Political Races


The Decoy Effect, or How to Win an Election

Monday, April 2, 2007; Page A03

If Democrats Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama ever took a break from fundraising to bone up on psychology, they might realize the need to talk up . . . John Edwards.

The same goes for front-runners John McCain and Rudy Giuliani in the race for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination. They ought to be drawing attention to Mitt Romney, or to "Law and Order" star Fred Thompson, who could be running third in the race if he declared.

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