Deplorables: emotions, political sophistication, and political intolerance

Gibson, J., Claassen, C. and Barceló, J. (2020) Deplorables: emotions, political sophistication, and political intolerance. American Politics Research, 48(2), pp. 252-262. (doi: 10.1177/1532673X18820864)

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Abstract

While scholars have shown strong and enduring interest in the role of emotions in politics, questions remain about the connections between emotions and political intolerance. First, it is not clear which emotion (if any) is likely to produce intolerance toward one’s disliked groups, with different studies favoring hatred, anger, or fear. Second, it is unclear whether these effects of emotion are moderated by sophistication, as some conventional political thought argues. Do the less-sophisticated, in other words, rely on emotions when making judgments, therefore being less tolerant than sophisticates, who rely on reason? Here, we test both hypotheses using a large representative sample of the American population. We find that hatred, anger, and fear are significantly but only modestly related to political intolerance. Moreover, the effects of emotions on intolerance are not consistently stronger among the unsophisticated. These findings provide little support for the conventional assumption that the less sophisticated rely on their emotions in making political judgments.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Claassen, Dr Christopher
Authors: Gibson, J., Claassen, C., and Barceló, J.
Subjects:J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Politics
Journal Name:American Politics Research
Publisher:SAGE Publications
ISSN:1532-673X
ISSN (Online):1552-3373
Published Online:14 January 2019
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2019 The Authors
First Published:First published in American Politics Research 48(2): 252-262
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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