The Affect Effect: Dynamics of Emotion in Political Thinking and Behavior

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Overview

Passion and emotion run deep in politics, but researchers have only recently begun to study how they influence our political thinking. Contending that the long-standing neglect of such feelings has left unfortunate gaps in our understanding of political behavior, The Affect Effect fills the void by providing a comprehensive overview of current research on emotion in politics and where it is likely to lead.

In sixteen seamlessly integrated essays, thirty top scholars approach this topic from a broad array of angles that address four major themes. The first section outlines the philosophical and neuroscientific foundations of emotion in politics, while the second focuses on how emotions function within and among individuals. The final two sections branch out to explore how politics work at the societal level and suggest the next steps in modeling, research, and political activity itself. Opening up new paths of inquiry in an exciting new field, this volume will appeal not only to scholars of American politics and political behavior, but also to anyone interested in political psychology and sociology.

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Editorial Reviews

Political Psychology
The Affect Effect contains numerous valuable contribtions to our understanding of the causes and effects of emotions in politics. By bringing together scholars from so many fields across the social sciences and subfields within political science, the volume will be especially useful in diversifying and expanding scholarship.

— Scott Basinger

Political Communication
The book should be of interest to scholars and practitioners alike given its relevance to contemporary politics. . . . Reading this book results in a greater understanding of how emotions are integral to voter decisions and the study of political campaigns.

— Christopher Weber

Nonna Mayer
“If you want to know how hope, fear, anxiety, and anger—among other emotions—shape the way we think and act politically, read this book! It’s the most thorough and up-to-date summary on the subject, from the philosophy of Aristotle to the latest developments in the cognitive neurosciences and political communication. The contributors are leading scholars who confront their own theories, concepts, findings, and methods (which go from classic survey research and experimentations to sticking electrodes in the brain), as well as their disagreements with each other. That’s what makes the book fascinating. It shows science in the making, building on its internal controversies and debates. And the central argument is optimistic. Far from throwing citizens into the arms of authoritarian leaders, emotions, especially anxiety, help them to think rationally and act strategically.”

Elizabeth Theiss-Morse

The Affect Effect is an excellent overview of research on emotion in politics and where that research is likely to head in the future. It’s on the cutting edge of a growing movement in the social sciences to explore the various intersections of neuroscience, biology, psychology, evolutionary economics, and the genetic bases of behavior. No one walking away from this book could entertain the notion that cognition is all that matters in political behavior: emotion is often the driving force behind—and works in conjunction with—cognition.”

Political Psychology - Scott Basinger

"The Affect Effect contains numerous valuable contribtions to our understanding of the causes and effects of emotions in politics. By bringing together scholars from so many fields across the social sciences and subfields within political science, the volume will be especially useful in diversifying and expanding scholarship."
Political Communication - Christopher Weber

"The book should be of interest to scholars and practitioners alike given its relevance to contemporary politics. . . . Reading this book results in a greater understanding of how emotions are integral to voter decisions and the study of political campaigns."
Political Psychology
"The Affect Effect contains numerous valuable contribtions to our understanding of the causes and effects of emotions in politics. By bringing together scholars from so many fields across the social sciences and subfields within political science, the volume will be especially useful in diversifying and expanding scholarship."

— Scott Basinger

Political Communication
"The book should be of interest to scholars and practitioners alike given its relevance to contemporary politics. . . . Reading this book results in a greater understanding of how emotions are integral to voter decisions and the study of political campaigns."

— Christopher Weber

Political Psychology

"The Affect Effect contains numerous valuable contribtions to our understanding of the causes and effects of emotions in politics. By bringing together scholars from so many fields across the social sciences and subfields within political science, the volume will be especially useful in diversifying and expanding scholarship."

— Scott Basinger

Political Communication

"The book should be of interest to scholars and practitioners alike given its relevance to contemporary politics. . . . Reading this book results in a greater understanding of how emotions are integral to voter decisions and the study of political campaigns."

— Christopher Weber

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780226574417
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
  • Publication date: 9/15/2007
  • Pages: 432
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

W. Russell Neuman is the John Derby Evans Professor of Media Technology in Communication Studies and the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan. George E. Marcus is professor of political science at Williams College. Ann N. Crigler is professor of political science at the University of Southern California. Michael MacKuen is the Burton Craige Professor of Political Science at the University of North Carolina­–Chapel Hill.   

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Table of Contents


Theorizing Affect's Effects   W. Russell Neuman   George E. Marcus   Ann N. Crigler   Michael MacKuen     1
Putting the Affect Effect in Perspective     21
Philosophical Psychology with Political Intent   Michael A. Neblo     25
Political Cognition as Social Cognition: Are We All Political Sophisticates?   Darren Schreiber     48
Emotional Processing and Political Judgment: Toward Integrating Political Psychology and Decision Neuroscience   Michael L. Spezio   Ralph Adolphs     71
Micro Models     97
The Primacy of Affect in Political Evaluations   Dan Cassino   Milton Lodge     101
The Third Way: The Theory of Affective Intelligence and American Democracy   Michael MacKuen   George E. Marcus   W. Russell Neuman   Luke Keele     124
Affective Intelligence and Voting: Information Processing and Learning in a Campaign   David P. Redlawsk   Andrew J. W. Civettini   Richard R. Lau     152
Identities, Interests, and Emotions: Symbolic versus Material Wellsprings of Fear, Anger, and Enthusiasm   Ted Brader   Nicholas A. Valentino     180
On the Distinct Political Effects of Anxiety and Anger   Leonie Huddy   Stanley Feldman   Erin Cassese     202
Don't Give Up Hope: Emotions, Candidate Appraisals, and Votes   Marion R. Just   Ann N. Crigler   Todd L. Belt     231
Macro Models     261
The Road to Public Surveillance: Breeching Attention Thresholds   Doris Graber     265
Meaning, Cultural Symbols, and Campaign Strategies   David C. Leege   Kenneth D. Wald     291
Testing Some Implications of Affective Intelligence Theory at the Aggregate Level   Peter F. Nardulli   James H. Kuklinski     316
Next Steps in Research and Outreach     335
Politics and the Equilibrium of Fear: Can Strategies and Emotions Interact?   Arthur Lupia   Jesse O. Menning     337
The Affect Effect in the Very Real World of Political Campaigns   Dan Schnur     357
Cognitive Neuroscience and Politics: Next Steps   Rose McDermott     375
References     399
Contributors     435
Index     439
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