Recent advances in the neurosciences offer a wealth of new
information about how the brain works, and how the body and mind
interact. These findings offer important and surprising implications
for work in political science. Specifically, emotion exerts an impact
on political decisions in decisive and significant ways. While its
importance in political science has frequently been either dismissed or
ignored in favor of theories that privilege rational reasoning, emotion
can provide an alternate basis for explaining and predicting political
choice and action. In this article, I posit a view of decision making
that rests on an integrated notion of emotional rationality.
Passion is a sort of fever in the mind, which ever leaves us weaker than it found us.
—William Penn, Fruits of Solitude (1693)
We consider affective processing to be an evolutionary antecedent to more complex forms of information processing; but higher cognition requires the guidance provided by affective processing.
—Ralph Adolphs and Antonio Damasio, “The Interaction of Affect and Cognition” (2001)
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