Project Under Pressure

From the pandemic, and climate change to terrorist attacks: multiple threats could, or will, fundamentally change our way of life. Even the perceptions of threat can disrupt society. Threats can ignite protests and foster support for anti-democratic policies, and can ultimately lead to violence. In Under Pressure, we study how individuals perceive and manage these threats, and how these perceptions influence their political attitudes and behaviors to counter these threats.

Start of the project

Our project kick-off was in January 2023 and the project will continue until 2027. Under Pressure is backed by an additional grant from the Dutch Research Council NWO. That allowed for a collaboration with Professor Viacheslav Dziundziuk from Ukraine, broadening our insights into global perspectives on threat perception.

Goal of the project

The world has been threatening to humankind: famine, war, terrorist attacks and the COVID-19 pandemic. Some people adopt political preferences that they perceive to address the threat. But how complex is the link between threat and political preferences? In our project, we study how people perceive and manage threats and adopt political attitudes and behaviors to counter these threats. Under Pressure aims to inform citizens with knowledge on how to mitigate threats and safeguard society’s stability.

Current status

Project Under Pressure runs from 2023 to 2027. We’ve received a grant from the Dutch Research Council NWO.

Researchers on this project

Delaney Peterson

Linda Bomm

Bert Bakker

Frederic Hopp

Gijs Schumachter

Publications on project Under Pressure

Christian Pipal, Martijn Schoonvelde, Gijs Schumacher, Max Boiten (2024) JST and rJST: Joint Estimation of Sentiment and Topics in Textual Data Using a Semi-Supervised Approach. PsyArxiv
Matthijs Gillissen, Gijs Schumacher & Matthijs Rooduijn (2024). Empathic Concern and Perspective-Taking have opposite effects on affective polarization. PsyArxiv
Maaike Homan & Gijs Schumacher (2024). Examining the Influence of Politicians’ Emotional Appeals on Vote Choice using a Visualized Leader Choice Task. PsyArxiv
Malte Lüken, Kody Moodley, Eva Viviani, Christian Pipal & Gijs Schumacher (2024). MEXCA - A Simple and Robust Pipeline for Capturing Emotion Expressions in Faces, Vocalization, and Speech.
Gijs Schumacher, Bert N. Bakker, Matthijs Rooduijn, & Maaike D. Homan (2021). Politiek: Zweten, fronsen en walgen. Sociologie Magazine.
Bert N. Bakker & Gijs Schumacher (2024). Using measures of psychophysiological and neural activity to advance understanding of psychological processes in politics. Handbook of Innovations in Political Psychology, edited by Busby, Karpowitz and Wong.
Maaike D. Homan (2024). Citizens’ affective, cognitive and behavioral responses to the emotional displays of politicians. PhD Dissertation
Roeland Dubèl, Gijs Schumacher, Maaike D. Homan, Delaney Peterson & Bert N. Bakker (2024). Replicating and Extending Soroka, Fournier, and Nir: Negative News Increases Arousal and Negative Affect. Media and Communication .
Isabella Rebasso (2023). Feeling Within Reason: How Appraisals Shape Emotional Responses to Politics. PhD Dissertation
Jakob Kasper, Gijs Schumacher & Bert Bakker (2024). Establishing the Construct and Predictive Validity of Brief Measures of Affective Polarization. PsyArxiv
Christian Pipal (2024). Blueprints and fingerprints Politicians' use of emotional appeals in European democracies. Phd Dissertation
Christian Pipal, Bert N. Bakker, Gijs Schumacher & Mariken A. C. G. van der Velden (2024). Tone in politics is not systematically related to macro trends, ideology, or experience. Scientific Reports
Svenja Schäfer, Isabella Rebasso, Ming Manuel Boyer, and Anna Maria Planitzer (2023). Can We Counteract Hate? Effects of Online Hate Speech and Counter Speech on the Perception of Social Groups. Communication Research
Gijs Schumacher, Maaike D. Homan, Isabella Rebasso, Neil Fasching, Bert N. Bakker & Matthijs Rooduijn (2024). Establishing the validity and robustness of facial electromyography measures for political science. Politics and the Life Sciences
Christian Pipal, Hyunjin Song, Hajo G Boomgaarden (2023). If you have choices, why not choose (and share) all of them? A multiverse approach to understanding news engagement on social media.
Christian Baden, Christian Pipal, Martijn Schoonvelde & Mariken van der Velden (2022). Three gaps in computational text analysis methods for social sciences: A research agenda.Communication Methods and Measures
Maaike D. Homan, Gijs Schumacher & Bert N. Bakker (2023). Facing emotional politicians: Do emotional displays of politicians evoke mimicry and emotional contagion? Emotion
Martijn Schoonvelde, Christian Pipal & Gijs Schumacher (2022). Text Analysis in Political Psychology. In: Handbook of Language Analysis in Psychology , edited by M. Dehghani and R. Boyd.
Gijs Schumacher, Matthijs Rooduijn & Bert N. Bakker (2022). Hot Populism? Affective responses to antiestablishment Rhetoric. Political Psychology
Bert Bakker, Gijs Schumacher & Matthijs Rooduijn (2020). Hot Politics? Affective responses to political rhetoric. American Political Science Review
Bert N. Bakker, & Yphtach Lelkes (2024). Putting the affect in affective polarization. Cognition & Emotion
Kevin Arceneaux, Bert N. Bakker, Neil Fasching & Yphtach Lelkes (2024). A critical evaluation and research agenda for the study of psychological dispositions and political attitudes. Advances in Political Psychology
Kevin Arceneaux, Bert N. Bakker, & Gijs Schumacher (2024). Being of One Mind: Does Alignment in Physiological Responses and Subjective Experiences Shape Political Ideology? Political Psychology
Mark Brandt, & Bert N. Bakker (2022). The complicated but solvable threat-politics relationship. Trends in the Cognitive Sciences
Catherine De Vries, Bert N. Bakker, Sara B. Hobolt & Kevin Arceneaux (online first). Crisis signalling: How Italy’s Coronavirus lockdown affected incumbent support in other European countries. Political Science Research and Methods.
Bert N. Bakker, Jaidka, K., Dorr, T., Fasching, N., & Lelkes, Y. (accepted for publication). Questionable and open research practices among quantitative communication researchers . Journal of Communication.
Bert N. Bakker, Lelkes, Y., & Malka, A. (online first) Reconsidering the relationship between personality and political preferences American Political Science Review.
Ariel Malka, Yphtach Lelkes, Bert N. Bakker, and Eliyahu Spivack (in press): Who is open to authoritarian governance in western democracies. Perspectives on Politics.
Maaike Homan (2020). Alexander Todorov's Face Value: The Irresistible Influence of First Impressions. Politics and Life Sciences.
Bert Bakker, Gijs Schumacher & Maaike Homan (2020). Yikes. Are we disgusted by politicians? Politics and Life Sciences , 39(2), 135-153.
Bert Bakker, Gijs Schumacher & Matthijs Rooduijn (2021). The populist appeal. Personality and anti-establishment communication. The Journal of Politics, 83(2), 589-601.
Bert Bakker, Yphtach Lelkes & Ariel Malka (2020). Understanding partisan cue receptivity: Tests from predictions from the bounded rationality and expressive utility perspectives . The Journal of Politics, 82(3), 1061-1077.
Bert Bakker, Gijs Schumacher, Claire Gothreau & Kevin Arceneaux (2020). Conservatives and Liberals have Similar Physiological Responses to Threats . Nature Human Behaviour, 4, 613-621
Martijn Schoonvelde, Gijs Schumacher & Bert Bakker (2019). Friends With Text as Data Benefits: Assessing and Extending the Use of Automated Text Analysis in Political Science and Political Psychology. Journal of Social and Political Psychology.
Denise Traber, Martijn Schoonvelde & Gijs Schumacher (2019) Errors have been made, others will be blamed: Issue engagement and blame shifting in prime minister speeches during the economic crisis in Europe. European Journal of Political Research.
Matthijs Rooduijn (2019) How to study populism and adjacent topics? A plea for both more and less focus . European Journal of Political Research.
Gijs Schumacher & Ingo Zettler (2019). House of Cards or West Wing? Self-reported HEXACO Traits of Danish Politicians . Personality and Individual Differences.
Martijn Schoonvelde, Anna Brosius, Gijs Schumacher & Bert Bakker (2019). Liberals Lecture, Conservatives Communicate: analyzing complexity and ideology in 381,475 speeches . PLoS One.
Bert Bakker & Yphtach Lelkes (2018) Selling Ourselves Short? How Abbreviated Measures of Personality Change the Way We Think about Personality and Politics . Journal of Politics.
Matthijs Rooduijn & Brian Burgoon (2018) The Paradox of Wellbeing: Do Unfavorable Socioeconomic and Sociocultural Contexts Deepen or Dampen Radical Left and Right Voting Among the Less Well-Off? Comparative Political Studies.
Erik de Vries, Martijn Schoonvelde & Gijs Schumacher (2018). No Longer Lost in Translation: Evidence that Google Translate Works for Comparative Bag-of-Words Text Applications Political Analysis.
Matthijs Rooduijn, Brian Burgoon, Erika van Elsas & Herman van de Werfhorst (2017). Radical Distinction: Support for Radical Left and Radical Right Parties in Europe . European Union Politics.
Mariken van der Velden, Gijs Schumacher & Barbara Vis (2017). Living in the Past or Living in the Future? Analyzing Parties’ Platform Change In Between Elections,The Netherlands 1997–2014. Political Communication.
Bert Bakker & Claes de Vreese (2016). Personality and European Union attitudes: Relationships across European Union attitude dimensions . European Union Politics.
Bert Bakker, Matthijs Rooduijn, & Gijs Schumacher (2016). The Psychological Roots of Populist Voting: Evidence from the United States, the Netherlands and Germany. European Journal of Political Research.
Bert Bakker, Robert Klemmensen, Asbjørn Nørgaard & Gijs Schumacher (2016). Stay Loyal or Exit the Party? How Openness to Experience and Extraversion Explain Vote Switching Political Psychology.
Bert Bakker (2016). Personality traits, income and economic ideology . Political Psychology.
Gijs Schumacher & Kees van Kersbergen (2016). Do mainstream parties adapt to the welfare chauvinism of populist parties? Party Politics.
Bert Bakker, David Hopmann, & Mikael Persson (2015). Personality traits and party identification over time. European Journal of Political Research.
Gijs Schumacher, Marc van de Wardt, Barbara Vis & Michael Baggesen Klitgaard (2015). How Aspiration to Office Conditions the Impact of Government Participation on Party Platform Change . American Journal of Political Science.
Gijs Schumacher & Matthijs Rooduijn (2013). Sympathy for the 'Devil'? Voting for Populists in the 2006 and 2010 Dutch General Elections. , Electoral Studies.
Gijs Schumacher, Catherine de Vries & Barbara Vis (2013). Why do Parties change Position? Party organization and environmental incentives Journal of Politics.
Fasching, N., Arceneaux, K., &
Bakker, B.N.
(2023). Inconsistent and weak evidence for a direct association between childhood personality and adult ideology.
Journal of Personality

Other projects from Hot Politics Lab


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 or Geert Wilders are pounding on the portals to power.

Project OnderbuikNL

In the summer of 2016, during the annual three-day Lowlands festival (music and performing arts festival), Hot Politics Lab conducted experiments measuring physiological responses to political propaganda.