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Laszlo Horvath: Affect, political sophistication, and deliberation: Understanding emotions' role in political decision making.

A Department of Politics seminar
Date16 April 2015
Time16:00 to 17:00
PlaceAmory

The presentation outlines a series of studies investigating the effects of basic emotions on political cognition.

This presentation outlines a series of studies investigating the effects of basic emotions on political cognition. In the broad agenda, the first emphasis is on whether and how basic emotions contribute to political sophistication, as in the integration and differentiation of the pieces of political information in the voters' mind, with an emphasis on the use abstract principles in reasoning, such as ideology, fairness, or justice notions. The second theme to be explored is whether there is an interaction effect of cognitive sophistication with that of basic emotions', in explaining behaviour in terms of some indicators of deliberative potential: attention towards counter-attitudinal information, and opinion change. The theoretical framework distinguishes basic emotions, that is, interest, joy, fear, anger, sadness, and disgust, from more complex emotion schemas involving a great deal of cognitive reflection (Izard, 2009) and argues that basic and discreet emotions are political sophistication’s non-reflected, evaluative components. The empirical studies are dedicated to these themes and gather survey (Study 1), psycho-physiological (Study 2, through eye tracking technology), and textual evidence (Study 3) of basic emotions' diverse and differential impact.


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