Part 4: Psychology Within Politics – The EU Referendum

Part 4: Psychology Within Politics – The EU Referendum

by Daisy Sunderalingam - 19th June, 2016


Cameron v Johnson

Credibility of the source of information plays a huge part in the effectiveness of a message.  An untrustworthy politician could be communicating sound arguments for a political campaign; however, due to previous indiscretions we cannot help but distrust this politician, which leads us to focus on the source rather than the communication.  In addition, modern day politics imitates a popularity contest, it is less about the message and more to do with who we can relate to and who we like the most.  Our assessments of political candidates are therefore more significant, see for example, Ed Miliband using Snapchat to convince young people to vote in the EU Referendum

Recently, we have seen the politics surrounding the EU Referendum mould to this modern-day political requisite, such as the Channel 4 programme entitled Boris v Dave: The Battle for Europe.  Instead of seeing the opposing sides of EU debate as non-entities, voters are now having to decide whether to side with Boris Johnson or David Cameron.  This can prove particularly troublesome where political arguments from each camp are concerned, as the content of these arguments will have less influence and weight in comparison to our perception of the person conveying the argument.

Remain and Leave campaigners are fervently making their cases and generating psychologically effective claims as the countdown to the vote continues.  Though the arguments from both ‘remain’ and ‘leave’ activists have been thoroughly constructed, the fate of Britain’s EU membership could rely predominantly on whether voters have forgiven Cameron for his tax evasion scandal, or see past Boris’s comical frivolous persona.

Daisy Sunderalingam

Daisy Sunderalingam

I am an aspiring Clinical Psychologist hoping to complete a PhD in Clinical Psychology in the near future. Last year I graduated with a First Class Honours BSc in Psychology, currently I am studying for an MSc in Occupational Psychology. Once qualified I plan to combine Clinical and Occupational to provide interventions for those suffering with neurodiversity and physical disabilities, with the objective to help these individuals successfully enter the world of employment.

Read more about my approach to counselling here...

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