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U.S. Voter Behavior Dominated by Relief and Disgust – Study by NayaDaya

Study on the presidential election, conducted by NayaDaya, YouGov, and Statista, shows that U.S. citizens will vote to prevent the undesirable from happening.

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The study reveals emotions and behavior of U.S. citizens, evoked by the election of Trump and Pence or Biden and Harris . The most chosen emotions are relief , disgust , fear , and disappointment – distribution varies between candidates.

“For U.S. voters the election is mostly about avoiding an undesirable result, not about being emotionally uplifted by the candidates,” says Marcello Mortillaro , Ph.D and Senior Scientist, Partner of NayaDaya Inc.

The most chosen emotion for Trump’s re-election is disengaging disgust that indicates violating voters’ moral standards. Pence is Trump’s reflection: His re-election evokes even more disgust but overall less emotions. In Biden’s case, the most common emotion is relief , implying avoidance of a threat.

Mortillaro explains: “As for Biden, almost half of Democrats feel relief , a positive emotion with a low engaging impact. Harris is unlike Biden. She arouses positive, engaging emotions of pride , admiration and joy.” Among Republicans, disgust and fear are the strongest emotions toward both Harris’ and Biden’s elections.

The NayaDaya® Emotional and Behavioral Intelligence, which is based on scientific research independently conducted by the University of Geneva, Switzerland, was used to analyze the U.S. voter emotions.

Voter emotions predict voter behavior and engagement – percentages for loyals:

  • Trump 32%
  • Pence 27%
  • Biden 45%
  • Harris 42%

Among the young (18-34), 47% are loyal to Biden, 27% to Trump. Among the African-Americans, 58% are loyal to Biden, only 13% to Trump. More than a quarter of respondents are not in favor of Democrats or Republicans; 31% of them are positively engaged in Trump, 37% in Biden.

“In the context of significant phenomena like presidential elections, emotions are our key to understanding different perspectives and their behavioral consequences. Through data, insight, empathy, and impact we empower responsible leaders, media, brands, and organizations to thrive and shape the world,” says NayaDaya’s CEO Timo Järvinen .

Study facts:

  • YouGov online panel Sept 2-4, 2020
  • Sample represents U.S. adult population
  • N=1265, margin of error ±2.5 percentage points

Annex: Key findings

Full report and data: www.nayadaya.com

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