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It's a Mad, Mad World: Using Emotion Inductions in a Survey

  • Kathleen Searles (a1) and Kyle Mattes (a2) (a3)


Recent research has uncovered a dynamic role for emotion in political decision-making. Anger in particular has increased in importance as scholars uncover its role in motivating participation and partisanship. One method for examining these effects is to use an induction to invoke an emotion, though such techniques are often limited to the laboratory. We discuss pertinent psychological research on induction, test several methods, and make practical recommendations for political science survey research. Using a unique research design which varies the way anger is invoked, we first find significant effects using a scenario induction. We replicate these findings with an adult sample and extend the results to political inductions. We are able to offer practical advice to scholars interested in replicating the effects of angry campaign ads or better understanding the effects of anger arousal on political behavior.



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