Karla ForjoeFollow

Date of this Version



Dr. Jonathan Baron


Politics, Psychology, Ghana, Africa


This project sought to identify the presence of biases in the Ghanaian political system, in order to define and explain the possible polarization existing within the country, and its consequences on the country’s political progress. This project involved research in Ghana, conducted in a 3 week period between December 2010 and January 2011, to test the hypothesis that biases were present within the local population and the cause of dangerous (rebellion-prompting) polarization within the population. The biases anticipated were motivated bias, explicitly ‘myside’ biases in the form of selective exposure, belief overkill, and biased assimilation/polarization. The research method was the use of an orally administered questionnaire to suit the needs of the population. It was found that there exists polarization within the country, though not an extreme polarization of the sort that would forewarn of revolution. These results are significant in that they help us understand the current Ghanaian political climate and the actions of its people.


Allen, Chris, ‘Understanding African politics’ Review of African Political Economy 65, 1995, Pg-304

Anonymous, The need for Diversity in Ghana – a discussion, Lonely Planet Thorn Tree Travel Forum, 2007

Baron, J., (2008 )Thinking and Deciding, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK

Boahen, Adu, The Ghanaian Sphinx, Sankofa Educational Publishers, Accra, 1988

Chabal, P and Daloz J-P, Africa Works: Disorder as a Political Instrument,The. International African Institute and Indiana University Press, 1999 P.15

Downs, A., An Economic Theory of Democracy, New York: Harper & Bros., 1957.

Duverger Maurice, Political Parties, University Printing House, Cambridge, 1976

Edwards, Bryce, Liberation, (2008). Retrieved January 2010, from

Ephson, Ben, Ben Ephson on the 2008 Elections, Media Graphics & Press Limited, Accra, 2009

Ephson, Ben, Elections ’92, Buck Press, Accra, 1992

Fiorina M. P., Abrams S. J., Pope J. C., “Culture War?: The Myth of a Polarized America” New York: Pearson Longman. 2005

Francis Bacon (1960). The New Organon, and Related Writings. New York, Liberal Arts Press

Frey, Dieter. 1986. Recent research on selective exposure to information. In Advances in experimental social psychology. Vol. 19 (pp. 41-80)

Garbrah, S., Ashanti, accessed 6/4/11

Ghanaweb, Results Presidential Runoff, 2008

Hotellings Model,, Accessed 5/20/2011

Janis, I.L. & Mann, L. (1977). Decision Making: A psychological analysis of conflict, choice, and commitment, New York: Free Press.

Jervis, Robert, Perception and Misperception in International Politics. 1976: Princeton University Press, Princeton, N.J.

Katz, R.S. and P. Mair (1997), ‘Party Organization, Party Democracy, and the Emergence of the Cartel Party’ in P. Mair (ed.), Party System Change: Approaches and Interpretations, Oxford: Oxford University Press

KIRCHHEIMER, O. (1966), “The transformation of Western European Party Systems”, in La Palombara, J. and Weiner M. (eds.), Political Parties and Political Development, (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press), 177-199.

Kruglanski, A. W. and Ajzen, I. (1983), Bias and error in human judgment. European Journal of Social Psychology, 13: 1–44.

Lord, C. G., Ross, L., & Lepper, M. R. (1979). Biased Assimilation and Attitude Polarization: The Effects of Prior Theories on Subsequently Considered Evidence. JPSP, 37, 2098-2109 NDC, Manifesto, 2008 <>

Nisbett, R. E., & Ross, L. D. (1980). Human Inference: Strategies and Shortcomings of Social Judgment. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.

NPP, Our Vision for the Future, 2010 Osei, A. P., Ghana Reccurence and Change in a Post-Independence African State, , Peter Lang Publishing, New York, 1999

Perkins, D.N., Bushey, B., & Farady, M. (1986). Learning to reason. Unpublished manuscript, Harvard Graduate School of Education, Cambridge, MA

Petchenkine, Y, Ghana In Search of Stability1957-1992 , Praeger, 1993 London, Pg 218 The World Bank Online, In Africa, Mortgages Boost An Emerging Middle Class, 2007 <>

Wolfram, Gary. Lectures on Public Choice Economics. Hillsdale College. Hillsdale, MI. October -November 2008 in Stolyarov, The Hotelling-Downs and Smithies Models of Voting, Public Choice Economics Study Guide, 2008,



Date Posted: 13 June 2016


To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.