Emotion & Gender
Emotional appeals are powerful motivators of political action. Yet the gender of a politician and the existing stereotypes held by audiences complicate the determination of which type of emotional appeal is best suited for different issue areas. In what ways do politicians’ emotional appeals serve to mitigate or exacerbate the impact of gender stereotypes across different policy domains? This research examines when politicians pay penalties or gain rewards for their emotional expressions using a survey experiment on a diverse national sample. We find evidence that women politicians are on equal footing or stand to benefit when expressing masculine emotions while also having greater emotional freedom across policy domains. Men politicians, on the other hand, are significantly punished for not acting “manly” enough in masculine policy domains. Nonetheless, these patterns become complicated by both situational context and partisan expectations. The results provide promise for the future prospects of women politicians while pointing to the continued relevance of gendered stereotypes about emotionality in today’s political world.
Why Women Earn High Marks: Examining the Role of Partisanship and Gender in Political Evaluations
Gendered Emotions and Covid Risk: Assessing Variation in Emotional Induction Responses
With numerous scholars expressing interest, and in some cases concern, over the impact of televised campaign ads on participation, it is vital that our understanding of the effects of political advertising be based on sound assumptions. Yet research regarding emotion and politics relies almost exclusively upon self-reported measures. How does reliance on self-reported measures of emotion impact our understanding of the short-term motivational forces that impact political participation? Using a randomized experiment with carefully manipulated campaign advertisements, I find evidence that an alternative measure of emotional response, physiological arousal, is a powerful predictor of citizens’ willingness to participate in politics. Arousal is not simply a proxy for self-reported emotion, but rather, a different and complementary measure of the emotional experience. I also explore the relationship between arousal and self-reported emotion and find evidence that the translation of arousal into self-reported emotion depends in part on characteristics of the message such as partisan tone and on characteristics of the individual such as political knowledge.
Emotion and Public Opinion
This chapter looks at the role of emotion in public opinion, first discussing how emotion has been understood and theorized by various scholars. Next, it views the present research on the consequences of emotion for political behaviour and public opinion, and ends with a review of the contribution of emotion to the study of certain substantive domains. The chapter notes that the study of public opinion and emotion is a new but fast-growing field, one which promises to make huge contributions to the understanding of politics.