Psychological Biases & EU Referendum

Psychological Biases and Personality Differences in the UK’s Referendum on EU Membership 2016

Psychological Biases and Personality in the EU Referendum  examined the differences between voters intending to vote ‘Remain’ versus voters who intend to vote ‘Leave’ in the 2016 UK’s referendum on it’s EU membership. The studies form part of a larger research project which seeks to understand the extent to which these biases and traits could be targeted and manipulated online.

The following interim findings are available:

Press Release (25th June 2016): Irrationality drove the EU Referendum result: Most people appear to be unable to interpret a set of numbers correctly if the evidence doesn’t support their existing and usually psychologically biased position on a topic. This happens to voters on both sides of the referendum debate. But there are differing levels of this phenomenon depending on which side of the debate someone is instinctively drawn to. Read more.

Press Release (14th July 2016): Brexiters and Bremainers also divided on rights to online privacy:  Research by the Online Privacy Foundation shows that UK citizens who voted in favour of Leaving the EU were significantly more likely than their Remain-voting counterparts to agree with the statement “With regards to Internet privacy, if you’ve done nothing wrong, you’ve got nothing to fear.” In fact, if a voter strongly agreed with the statement, they were almost twice as likely to have voted Leave as someone who disagreed with the statement. Read more.

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