Psephology

Quantitative scientific analysis of elections and balloting (within political science) / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Psephology (/sɪˈfɒləi/; from Greek ψῆφος, psephos, 'pebble') is the "quantitative analysis of elections and balloting",[1] a technique within the branch of political science known as political methodology. Psephology attempts to explain elections using the scientific method and is related to political forecasting.

Psephology uses historical precinct voting data, public opinion polls, campaign finance information and similar statistical data. The term was first coined in 1948 by W. F. R. Hardie (1902–1990) in the United Kingdom. This occurred after R. B. McCallum, a friend of Hardie's, requested a word to describe the study of elections. Its first documented usage in writing appeared in 1952.[2] Social choice theory is a different field of study that studies voting from a mathematical perspective.

'Psephology' as a term is more common in Britain and in those English-speaking communities that rely heavily on the British standard of the language.

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