Science in Politics and Society

by Nikolai V. Shokhirev


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How to quantify subjective estimates?

There is a well-known statement that people and their preferences are different and it is impossible to measure events and other persons objectively. For example, we can say that this truck is stronger then that one if we define their strength as an ability to carry a load. We can measure the strength in e.g. in pounds.

But how to determine which candidate is stronger (or better)? In other words, what is the measure for politicians?

Dr. Nikolai's chart helps to develop such measure. It was developed for general purposes (see e.g. here).

In the case of politicians :

  1. Select a list of items (features),
  2. Choose a relative importance of the items (How it is important for you),
  3. Score the candidates (either in absolute values or in % of importance; it can be negative as well).
  4. Get the total candidates' scores.
 Items   Importance Candidate A  Candidate B
 Reduce taxes +100  +50 +100
 Improve  health care +200 +100 +200
 Relax gun control +100 +100  -50
 Good-looking  +50  +20  +10
 Total score      +270 +260

This chart reflects your own values. This is definitely a subjective estimation but it is OK because you vote. In other words this chart is an objective metric for your subjective preferences.  

You can refine importance values, add new items. The chart can be used for the consistent evaluation of candidates.

Next: Evolutionary Theory of Politics

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ŠNikolai V. Shokhirev, 2004-2007