Many claim that politicians make more, and more extreme, emotional appeals than ever before, because these appeals win over the emotional citizen. With highly emotive language people like Donald Trump, Geert Wilders or Marine Le Pen are pounding on the portals to power. Do such emotional appeals affect citizens’ political choices? Yes, they can. But, citizens’ existing emotional attachments to parties, leaders or issues moderate the success of emotional appeals.
When and why do politicians make emotional appeals? And how do people respond to these appeals? We use automated text analysis to analyze large corpora of political speeches (over-time and across countries), and physiological measurement to study how people respond to communication.
|Bert Bakker, Gijs Schumacher & Maaike Homan (in-press). Yikes. Are we disgusted by politicians. Politics and Life Sciences.|
|Bert Bakker, Gijs Schumacher, Claire Gothreau & Kevin Arceneaux (2020). Conservatives and Liberals have Similar Physiological Responses to Threats. Nature Human Behaviour|