KAHNEMAN: …there are
those effects that are small at the margin that can change election
You call and ask people ahead of time, "Will you vote?". That’s all.
"Do you intend to vote?". That increases voting participation
substantially, and you can measure it. It’s a completely trivial
manipulation, but saying ‘Yes’ to a stranger, "I will vote" …
MYHRVOLD: But to Elon’s point, suppose you had the choice of calling up
and saying, "Are you going to vote?", so you prime them to vote, versus
exhorting them to vote.
KAHNEMAN: The prime could very well work better than the exhortation
because exhortation is going to induce resistance, whereas the prime‚ the mild embarrassment causes you to make what feels like a
commitment, and the commitment, if it’s sufficiently precise, is going
to have an effect on behavior.
THALER: If you ask them when they’re going to vote, and how they’re going to get there, that increases voting.
KAHNEMAN: And where.
Here is the whole dialogue, on the importance of the environment and priming effects for human psychology; it is very interesting throughout. I thank Stephen Morrow for the pointer.
So how do you get some people not to vote?