Part 2: Psychology Within Politics – The EU Referendumby Daisy Sunderalingam - 12th June, 2016
The Economy & Personal Finance
Scaremongering is very much present in the current political arguments from both camps, and it is often these negative arguments that deliver the most influence and attract the most attention in comparison to any positive viewpoints. An example of this from the ‘remain’ supporters is the argument that without membership, banks will leave the UK, millions will be out of a job and numerous businesses will cease to invest in the UK. The psychology of currency illustrates money as a powerful driving force and a significant object that motivates much of our behaviour. Research studies on the effect of monetary incentives shows high motivation from participants where monetary rewards are offered. The indication that leaving the EU could mean a monetary loss both for the individual and for Britain as a country could heighten anxieties as individuals are said to experience anxiety and other negative emotional reactions as a result of uncertainty in relation to finances.
Again, focusing on the meaningful value we place on money the ‘leave’ campaigners insist Britain will remain financially viable and that low tax rates will encourage banks to stay in London. Paying tax is seen as a social dilemma, younger people are more against higher tax payments than older people and taxes limit freedom for people to do with their money as they please. For example, the argument that leaving the EU will bring lower tax rates could inspire those running small businesses to vote to ‘leave’ as taxes are perceived as an extreme and drastic cut to small business owners’ income. Instead of arguing uncertainty regarding the economy, ‘leave’ promoters are instilling the possibility of freedom with finances, which is a significant objective for a variety of people in relation to their income. Nevertheless, there is still scaremongering involved here as those who want ‘out’ pertain economic concerns should we stay regarding restrictions and continued ‘loss of freedom’, for instance Britain’s involvement in trade deals.