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Your Own Personal Voting Advisors

• August 16, 2012 • 1:00 PM

The new(ish) site PollVault.com (tagline “Elections made easy”) aims to use social media to help you go vote. They aim to do this by connecting you to people so that, as their press release says, “ you don’t have to know the answer, you just need to know who does.” Users can “choose up to ten Advisors whose positions they trust and request to follow them. If an individual accepts the role of an Advisor, a customized dashboard with his or her private … ballot choices appears, giving approved subscribers the ability to learn more about his or her position on key issues. Voters use the information to fill out personal sample ballots online and bring them to the polls.”

The site will help you find people with similar brains. See Tom’s recent post: Red States, Blue States, Gray Matter:

A research team led by Gary Lewis, a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of California, Santa Barbara’s Sage Center for the Study of the Mind, has found structural differences between the brains of individuals who have different moral values. We’re not just talking about differences in the way the brains function. Rather, they have documented significant variations in the actual volume of gray matter. That’s a big deal, and it “suggests a biological basis for moral sentiment,” Lewis and his colleagues write in the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience.

And:

“This does not explain political attitudes, but it improves our explanation of political attitudes,” said New York University psychologist Jonathan Haidt, who developed the framework of moral attitudes used by Lewis and his team, but did not participate in the study. “Slight differences in brain structure and function make people more prone to develop one ideology or another.

PollVault aims to help you find your brain buddies.

Maria Streshinsky
Maria Streshinsky is the editor of Pacific Standard, and was formerly the managing editor of The Atlantic in Washington, D.C. She spent two years working at the U.S. Department of the Interior.

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