Angry politicians make angry voters, new study finds

Politicians may have good reason to show to angry rhetoric, in line with research led by political scientists from Colorado—the strategy seems to figure, a minimum of within the short term.

He and Dawkins, an prof, published their results this month within the journal Political Research Quarterly. The researchers surveyed roughly 1,400 people online from across the political spectrum, presenting them with a series of mock news stories a few recent political debates. they found that when it involves politics, anger may cause more anger. Subjects who examine an enraged politician from their own party were more likely to report feeling mad themselves than those who didn’t. Those self-same steaming partisans also reported that they were more likely to induce involvement in politics, from attending rallies to voting on polling day. There’s always the potential that anger can be converted into rage and violence.”

Tempers rising
Anger and politics within the U.S. have long gone hand-in-hand—the nation’s second president, John Adams, once said solon as a “bastard brat of a Scotch peddler.”

Stapleton, who isn’t associated with the Colorado political family, wanted to seek out just how contagious those varieties of emotions can be. He will start a footing as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Notre Dame within the fall.

Fighting words
To find out how the emotions of politicians might corrade on their supporters, he and Dawkins ran an experiment. The duo wrote a series of stories about a couple of debates on immigration policy between two candidates for an open Congressional seat in Minnesota. In some cases, the faux politicians used language that tipped into outrage (although it would still look tame within the current political landscape).

The team’s results are among the primary ones to indicate what many Americans have long known—that political anger is a strong force. In contrast, blue voters who encountered neutral information or saw an angry quote from a Republican didn’t experience the identical swings in emotion.

The study also brought a twist: Those that were the foremost vulnerable to those shifts weren’t the die-hard partisans on either side of the aisle. They were more moderate voters. But, he added, anger is barely a part of the image. during a previous study, he and his colleagues discovered that optimistic people are rather more likely to be politically active than pessimists. “It doesn’t need to be all doom and gloom.”