Open Access Senior Thesis
Bachelor of Arts
2023 Rhea Malhotra
At the centre of democracy lies the right to vote. The United States of America is considered to be an emblem of democracy, so voting is naturally a topic of discourse in colloquial spheres especially given the long fight for equal voting access. In general, voting is a way for citizens to advocate their needs, interact with contemporary society, and prove their affiliation with their country. That being said, the individual reasons to vote differ from citizen to citizen, but patterns may still exist which is why it is important to explore which variables can predict voting outcomes. By doing so, the various dimensions of voting behaviour can be understood on a deeper level. The first chapter of this thesis uses data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youths of 1997 (NLSY97) to investigate how educational predictors through an economic lens are related to the propensity to vote. The second chapter of this thesis designs a study to test relationships between different psychological phenomena, specifically assimilation, individualism-collectivism, and locus of control and the likelihood to vote for Asian Americans specifically. This is because they are one of the fastest growing populations in the US yet have some of the lowest voter turnout rates. Both portions of the thesis aim to compare how voting behaviour differs for ethnic groups from an interdisciplinary perspective. Results suggest that age, household size, sex, marital status, and high school diploma attainment are predictors of voting behaviour, but further research must be done to solidify these findings since they only partially support previous literature. This research is important because voting behaviour is still a foreign concept in the fields of psychology and economics, so this combined thesis will add to the growing body of literature already in place from two new perspectives.
Malhotra, Rhea, "Who Votes and Why: Economic and Psychological Predictors of Political Participation" (2023). Scripps Senior Theses. 2193.