Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-59b7f5684b-z9m8x Total loading time: 0.344 Render date: 2022-10-04T11:21:43.176Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "useRatesEcommerce": false, "displayNetworkTab": true, "displayNetworkMapGraph": false, "useSa": true } hasContentIssue true

Mobilizing Voters with Aggressive Metaphors

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  25 October 2017

Abstract

How do personality traits condition the effects of campaign messages meant to mobilize voters? With two nationally representative US survey experiments, I show that common aggressive metaphors mobilize or demobilize voters depending on their traits. Aggressive metaphors increase the mobilizing impact of motivations to participate among aggressive individuals but decrease that impact among low-aggression people. For example, the language mobilizes strong partisans with aggressive personalities but demobilizes strong partisans low in aggression. This heterogeneity showcases the nuanced power of metaphors in campaigns, reaffirms the importance of personality in political behavior, and reveals the hidden role of aggression in non-violent political behavior for the first time. In practice, the net effects of aggressive metaphors can be positive, negative, or null depending on average traits in an audience.

Type
Original Articles
Copyright
© The European Political Science Association 2017 

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Footnotes

*

Nathan Kalmoe is an Assistant Professor of Political Communication at Louisiana State University, Journalism Building, Baton Rouge, LA 70803 (nkalmoe@lsu.edu). This project was supported by the Gerald R. Ford Fellowship and the Marsh Research Fellowship at the University of Michigan. Data for Study 2 were collected by Time-Sharing Experiments for the Social Sciences, NSF Grant 0818839, Jeremy Freese and Penny Visser, Principal Investigators. The author thanks Don Kinder, Ted Brader, Nancy Burns, Nick Valentino, Brad Bushman, Jenna Bednar, Cindy Kam, Charles Doriean, Josh Gubler, anonymous reviewers, and the participants of the Interdisciplinary Workshop on Politics and Policy at the University of Michigan for their comments and suggestions. An earlier version of this work was presented at the 2011 APSA Annual Meeting. To view supplementary material for this article, please visit https://doi.org/10.1017/psrm.2017.36

References

Achen, Christopher, and Blais, Andre. 2010. ‘Intention to Vote, Reported Vote, and Validated Vote’. APSA 2010 Annual Meeting Paper, Washington, D.C.Google Scholar
Anderson, Craig A., and Bushman, Brad J.. 2002. ‘Human Aggression’. Annual Review of Psychology 53:2751.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Anderson, Craig A., and Ford, Catherine M.. 1986. ‘Affect of the game player: Short-term effects of highly and mildly aggressive video games’. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 12:390402.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Anderson, Craig A., Carnagey, Nicholas L., and Eubanks, Janie. 2003. ‘Exposure to Aggressive Media: The Effects of Songs With Aggressive Lyrics on Aggressive Thoughts and Feelings’. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 84:960971.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Ansolabehere, Stephen, and Iyengar, Shanto. 1995. Going Negative. New York, NY: Free Press.Google Scholar
Arceneaux, Kevin, and Johnson, Martin. 2013. Changing Minds or Changing Channels? Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bettencourt, B. Ann, and Miller, Norman. 1996. ‘Gender differences in aggression as a function of provocation: A meta-analysis’. Psychological Bulletin 119:422447.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Bougher, Lori D. 2012. ‘The Case for Metaphor in Political Reasoning and Cognition’. Political Psychology 33:145163.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Brader, Ted. 2006. Campaigning for Hearts and Minds. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
Brader, Ted, and Valentino, Nicholas A.. 2007. ‘Identities, Interests, and Emotions: Symbolic versus Material Wellsprings of Fear, Anger, and Enthusiasm’. In W. Russell Neuman, George E. Marcus, Ann N. Crigler and Michael MacKuen (eds), The Affect Effect: The Dynamics of Emotion in Political Thinking and Behavior, 180201. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Brambor, Thomas, Clark, William R., and Golder, Matt. 2006. ‘Understanding Interaction Models: Improving Empirical Analysis’. Political Analysis 14:6382.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bryant, Fred B., and Smith, Bruce D.. 2001. ‘Refining the Architecture of Aggression: A Measurement odel for the Buss-Perry Aggression Questionnaire’. Journal of Research in Personality 35:138167.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Burns, Nancy, Schlozman, Kay L., and Verba, Sidney. 2001. The Private Roots of Public Action. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
Bushman, Brad J. 1995. ‘Moderating Role of Trait Aggressiveness in the Effects of Aggressive Media on Aggression’. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 69:950960.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Bushman, Brad J. 1996. ‘Individual Differences in the Extent and Development of Aggressive Cognitive-Associative Networks’. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 22:811819.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bushman, Brad J. 1998. ‘Priming Effects of Media Violence on the Accessibility of Aggressive Constructs in Memory’. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 24:537545.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bushman, Brad J., and Wells, Gary L.. 1998. ‘Trait aggression and hockey penalties: Predicting hot tempers on the ice’. Journal of Applied Psychology 83:969974.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Buss, Arnold H., and Perry, Mark. 1992. ‘The Aggression Questionnaire’. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 63:452459.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Campbell, Angus, Converse, Philip E., Miller, Warren E., and Stokes, Donald E.. 1960. The American Voter. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
Cappella, Joseph N., and Jamieson, Kathleen H.. 1997. Spiral of Cynicism. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Caprara, G. V., Renzi, P., Alcini, P., D’Imperio, G., and Travaglia, G.. 1983. ‘Instigation to aggress and escalation of aggression examined from a personological perspective: The role of irritability and of emotional susceptibility’. Aggressive Behavior 9:345351.3.0.CO;2-6>CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Chang, Linchiat, and Krosnick, Jon A.. 2009. ‘National Surveys Via RDD Telephone Interviewing Versus the Internet: Comparing Sample Representativeness and Response Quality’. Public Opinion Quarterly 73:641678.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Chong, Dennis, and Druckman, James N.. 2007. ‘Framing Theory’. Annual Review of Political Science 10:103126.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Chong, Dennis, and Druckman, James N.. 2010. ‘Dynamic Public Opinion: Communication Effects Over Time’. American Political Science Review 104:663680.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Craig, Stephen C., Niemi, Richard G., and Silver, Glenn E.. 1990. ‘Political Efficacy and Trust: A Report on the NES Pilot Study Items’. Political Behavior 12(3):289314.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Felsten, Gary, and Hill, Virgil. 1999. ‘Aggression Questionnaire hostility scale predicts anger in response to mistreatment’. Behavior Research and Therapy 37:8797.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Freedman, Paul, and Goldstein, Ken. 1999. ‘Measuring Media Exposure and the Effects of Negative Campaign Ads’. American Journal of Political Science 43:11891208.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Gerber, Alan S., Green, Donald P., and Larimer, Christopher W.. 2008. ‘Social Pressure & Voter Turnout: Evidence from a Large-Scale Field Experiment’. American Political Science Review 102:3348.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Gerber, Alan S., Gimpel, James G., Green, Donald P., and Shaw, Daron R.. 2011. ‘How Large and Long-Lasting are the Persuasive Effects of Televised Campaign Ads? Results from a Randomized Field Experiment’. American Political Science Review 105(1):135150.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Gerber, Alan S., Huber, Greg A., Doherty, David, Dowling, Conor M., and Panagopoulos, C.. 2013. ‘Big Five Personality Traits and Responses to Persuasive Appeals: Results from Voter Turnout Experiments’. Political Behavior 35:687728.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Harris, Julie A. 1997. ‘A Further Evaluation of the Aggression Questionnaire: Issues of Validity and Reliability’. Behavioral Research and Therapy 35:10471053.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Hartman, Todd K. 2012. ‘Toll Booths on the Information Superhighway? Policy Metaphors in the Case of Net Neutrality’. Political Communication 29:278298.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hillygus, D. Sunshine. 2005. ‘Campaign Effects and the Dynamics of Turnout Intention in Election 2000’. Journal of Politics 66:5068.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Huddy, Leonie, Feldman, Stanley, and Cassese, Erin. 2007. ‘On the Distinct Political Effects of Anxiety and Anger’. In W. R. Neuman, G. E. Marcus, A. N. Crigler and M. MacKuen (eds), The Affect Effect, p. 202230. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Iyengar, Shanto, and Kinder, Donald R.. 1987. News That Matters. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
Johnson, Joel T., and Taylor, Shelley E.. 1981. ‘The Effect of Metaphor on Political Attitudes’. Basic and Applied Social Psychology 2:305316.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kalmoe, Nathan P. 2014. ‘Fueling the Fire: Aggressive Metaphors, Trait Aggression, and Support for Political Violence’. Political Communication 31(4):545563.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kalmoe, Nathan P. 2015. ‘Trait Aggression in Two Representative U.S. Surveys: Testing the Generalizability of College Samples’. Aggressive Behavior 41(2):171188.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Kalmoe, Nathan P., Gubler, Joshua R., and Wood, David A.. 2017 ‘Toward Conflict or Compromise? How Violent Metaphors Polarize Partisan Issue Attitudes’. Political Communication. Online First View.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kam, Cindy D., and Simas, Elizabeth N.. 2010. ‘Risk Orientations and Policy Frames’. Journal of Politics 72:381396.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kinder, Donald R. 2007. ‘Curmudgeonly Advice’. Journal of Communication 57:155162.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Krupnikov, Yanna. 2011. ‘When Does Negativity Demobilize? Tracing the Conditional Effect of Negative Campaigning on Voter Turnout’. American Journal of Political Science 55:796812.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Landau, Mark J., Meier, Brian P., and Keefer, Lucas A.. 2010. ‘A metaphor-enriched social cognition’. Psychological Bulletin 136:10451067.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Lau, Richard R., and Schlesinger, Mark. 2005. ‘Policy Frames, Metaphorical Reasoning, and Support for Public Policies’. Political Psychology 26:77114.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lau, Richard R., Sigelman, Lee, Heldman, Caroline, and Babbitt, Paul. 1999. ‘The Effects of Negative Political Advertisements: A Meta-Analytic Assessment’. American Political Science Review 93:851875.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lavine, Howard, Borgida, Eugene, and Sullivan, John L.. 2000. ‘On the Relationship Between Attitude Involvement and Attitude Accessibility: Toward a Cognitive-Motivational Model of Political Information Processing’. Political Psychology 21:81106.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Marcus, George E., Neuman, W. Russell, and MacKuen, Michael. 2000. Affective Intelligence and Political Judgment. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
Marshall, Margaret A., and Brown, Jonathon D.. 2006. ‘Trait aggressiveness and situational provocation: A test of the Traits as Situational Sensitivities (TASS) model’. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 32:11001113.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Miller, Joanne M., and Krosnick, Jon A.. 2000. ‘News Media Impact on the Ingredients of Presidential Evaluations: Politically Knowledgeable Citizens are Guided by a Trusted Source’. American Journal of Political Science 44(2):301315.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Miller, Joanne M., and Saunders, Kyle L.. 2016. ‘It’s Not All About Resources: Explaining (or Not) the Instability of Individual-Level Political Participation Over Time’. American Politics Research 44:943981.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Moise-Titus, Jessica M. 1999. The role of negative emotions in the media violence-aggression relation. Dissertation.Google Scholar
Mondak, Jeffery J., Hibbing, Matthew V., Canache, Damarys, Seligson, Mitchell A., and Anderson, Mary R.. 2010. ‘Personality and Civic Engagement: An Integrative Framework for the Study of Trait Effects on Political Behavior’. American Political Science Review 104:85110.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Mutz, Diana, and Reeves, Byron. 2005. ‘The New Videomalaise: Effects of Televised Incivility on Political Trust’. American Political Science Review 99(1):115.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Nelson, Thomas E., Clawson, Rosalee A., and Oxley, Zoe M.. 1997. ‘Media Framing of a Civil Liberties Conflict and its Effect on Tolerance’. American Political Science Review 91:567583.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Niemi, Richard G., Craig, Stephen C., and Mattei, Franco. 1991. ‘Measuring Internal Political Efficacy in the 1988 National Election Study’. American Political Science Review 85:14071413.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ottati, Victor, Rhoads, Susan, and Graesser, Arthur C.. 1999. ‘The Effect of Metaphor in Processing Style in a Persuasion Task: A Motivational Resonance Model’. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 77:688697.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Pitney, John J. 2000. The Art of Political Warfare. Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press.Google Scholar
Rosenstone, Stephen J., and Hansen, John M.. 1993. Mobilization, Participation, and Democracy in America. New York, NY: Macmillan Publishing Company.Google Scholar
Schattschneider, Elmer E. 1960. The Semi-Sovereign People. Hindsale, IL: Wadsworth Publishing.Google Scholar
Schlesinger, Mark, and Lau, Richard R.. 2000. ‘The Meaning and Measure of Policy Metaphors’. American Political Science Review 94:611626.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Sharpe, J. P., and Desai, S.. 2001. ‘The revised Neo Personality Inventory and the MMPI-2 Psychopathology Five in the prediction of aggression’. Personality and Individual Differences 31:505518.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Stenner, Karen. 2005. The Authoritarian Dynamic. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Tremblay, Paul F., and Ewart, Laura A.. 2005. ‘The Buss and Perry Aggression Questionnaire and its relation to values, the Big Five, provoking hypothetical situations, alcohol consumption patterns, and alcohol expectancies’. Personality and Individual Differences 38:337346.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Valentino, Nicholas A., Beckmann, Matthew N., and Burr, Thomas A.. 2001. ‘A Spiral of Cynicism for Some: The Contingent Effects of Campaign News Frames on Participation and Confidence in Government’. Political Communication 18:347367.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Valentino, Nicholas A., Brader, Ted, Groenendyk, Eric W., Gregorowicz, Krysha, and Hutchings, Vincent L.. 2011. ‘Election Night’s Alright for Fighting: The Role of Emotions in Political Participation’. Journal of Politics 73:156170.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Verba, Sidney, Schlozman, Kay L., and Brady, Henry. 1995. Voice and Equality. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
Weinschenk, Aaron C., and Panagopoulos, Costas. 2014. ‘Personality, Negativity, and Political Participation’. Journal of Social and Political Psychology 2:164182.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Wilson, Edward O. 2004. On Human Nature, 2nd ed. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
Winter, David G. 1987. ‘Leader Appeal, Leader Performance, and the Motive Profiles of Leaders and Followers: A Study of American Presidents and Elections’. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 52:196202.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Zaller, John 1992. The Nature and Origins of Mass Opinion. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Supplementary material: Link
Link
Supplementary material: File

Kalmoe supplementary material

Kalmoe supplementary material 1

Download Kalmoe supplementary material(File)
File 47 KB
Supplementary material: PDF

Kalmoe supplementary material

Kalmoe supplementary material 2

Download Kalmoe supplementary material(PDF)
PDF 352 KB
5
Cited by

Save article to Kindle

To save this article to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Mobilizing Voters with Aggressive Metaphors
Available formats
×

Save article to Dropbox

To save this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Mobilizing Voters with Aggressive Metaphors
Available formats
×

Save article to Google Drive

To save this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Mobilizing Voters with Aggressive Metaphors
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *