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date: 13 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Political persuasion relies on emotion. Emotions grab people’s attention and can be a starting point for changing minds. Positive emotions tend to reinforce standing dispositions and encourage us to proceed as usual, but often politics and political science research involve negative emotions such as anxiety, anger, disgust, and shame. Where anxiety leads people to consider new information, most research suggests that anger does not facilitate this process of reconsideration and thus can make persuasion more difficult. Emotions like anger, shame, and enthusiasm all underlie the decision to participate in politics and can motivate voting while hatred can lead to support for violence. The chapter ends by considering how different research designs can uncover the effects of multiple, competing emotions, how emotions matter in small group discussion and how emotions color the acceptance of news.

Keywords: emotion, anxiety, anger, disgust, persuasion

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