For those who thought that this years Presidential election would be about “the lesser of evils”, Fast Company reporting points to a “rejection of the worst of evils”.
Even with almost daily revelations, real or imagined, about the Clinton Emails, Donald Trump self-propelled implosion continues to grab the lions share of coverage. And to those Clinton’s critics who complain that she’s “playing out the clock”, well this reporting seems to indicate that may be a winning strategy.
So it’s fair to assume that, on average, voters aren’t exactly selecting a candidate they’re excited about—many are simply picking the one they dislike the least. And when we see our options as presenting us with a choice between the lesser of two evils, it subtly changes how we decide.
What It’s Like To Select Vs. To Reject
When people are dissatisfied with all of their options, research suggests that they often focus on finding reasons to reject one over the other rather than reasons for preferring one. This may sound like the flip side of the same coin, but there’s a crucial difference: When we adopt what psychologists term a “rejection mind-set,” we home in on negative information about our options and fixate on the one with the smallest potential downsides.
This “rejection mindset” points to why we may see an election season driven primarily by negative advertising as opposed to policies and positive pictures of candidates. So, as ugly as it may have been so far, it may get worse.