Expected utility and approval voting

Peter C. Fishburn, Steven J. Brams

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Approval voting is concerned with the decision behavior of organizations and societal systems. As with other voting procedures, it elicits and converts input from voters into a social decision. Under approval voting, each voter in a multicandidate election can vote for as many candidates as he wishes. The candidate with the most votes is elected. Approval voting is analyzed here from the viewpoint of expected utility maximizing voters. Approximately optimal voting strategies are developed. The relative abilities of votes for different numbers of candidates to affect the outcome are assessed, and the issue of equity among voters is addressed. It is argued that approval voting is more equitable than the common plurality voting system.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)136-142
    Number of pages7
    JournalBehavioral Science
    Issue number2
    StatePublished - Apr 1981


    • approval voting
    • decision making
    • election systems
    • expected utility
    • organization
    • social equity
    • society
    • voter strategy

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


    Dive into the research topics of 'Expected utility and approval voting'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this