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Taking leaders at face value: Ethology and the analysis of televised leader displays

  • Patrick A. Stewart (a1), Frank K. Salter (a2) and Marc Mehu (a3)
Abstract

Research investigating the influence and character of nonverbal leader displays has been carried out in a systematic fashion since the early 1980s, yielding growing insight into how viewers respond to the televised facial display behavior of politicians. This article reviews the major streams of research in this area by considering the key ethological frameworks for understanding dominance relationships between leaders and followers and the role nonverbal communication plays in politics and social organization. The analysis focuses on key categories of facial display behavior by examining an extended selection of published experimental studies considering the influence of nonverbal leader behavior on observers, the nature of stimuli shown to research participants, range of measures employed, and make-up of participant pools. We conclude with suggestions for future research.

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203.Masters and Sullivan , “Nonverbal displays and political leadership in France and the United States,” pp. 121130.
204.Masters Roger D. and Carlotti Stephen J. Jr., “Gender differences in response to political leaders,” in Social Stratification and Socioeconomic Inequality, Vol. 2, Ellis Lee, ed. (Boulder, CO: Praeger, 1994), pp. 1335.
205.Sullivan and Masters , “Biopolitics, the media, and leadership: Nonverbal cues, emotions, and trait attributions in the evaluation of leaders,” pp. 237273.
206.Bucy and Bradley , “Presidential expressions and viewer emotion: Counterempathic responses to televised leader displays,” pp. 5994.
207.McHugo , Lanzetta and Bush , “The effect of attitudes on emotional reactions to expressive displays of political leaders,” pp. 1941.
208.McHugo et al., “Emotional reactions to a political leader's expressive displays,” pp. 15131529.
209.Ibid.
210.Bucy and Bradley , “Presidential expressions and viewer emotion: Counterempathic responses to televised leader displays,” pp. 5994.
211.McHugo et al., “Emotional reactions to a political leader's expressive displays,” pp. 15131529.
212.Bucy and Bradley , “Presidential expressions and viewer emotion: Counterempathic responses to televised leader displays,” pp. 5994.
213.Ibid.
214.McHugo , Lanzetta , and Bush , “The effect of attitudes on emotional reactions to expressive displays of political leaders,” pp. 1941.
215.McHugo et al., “Emotional reactions to a political leader's expressive displays,” pp. 15131529.
216.McHugo , Lanzetta , and Bush , “The effect of attitudes on emotional reactions to expressive displays of political leaders,” pp. 3233.
217.Bucy and Newhagen , “The emotional appropriateness heuristic: Processing televised presidential reactions to the news,” pp. 5979.
218.Bucy and Bradley , “Presidential expressions and viewer emotion: Counterempathic responses to televised leader displays,” pp. 5994.
219.Sears David O., “College sophomores in the laboratory: Influences of a narrow data base on social psychology's view of human nature,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 1985, 51:515530.
220.Ibid., p. 526
221.Ibid., p. 527
222.Lang Peter J., “What are the data of emotion?” in Cognitive Perspectives on Emotion and Motivation, Hamilton Vernon, Bower Gordon H., and Frijda Nico H., eds. (Boston: Kluwar Academic Publishers, 1988), pp. 173191.
223.Scherer Klaus R., “Appraisal considered as a process of multi-level sequential checking,” in Appraisal Processes in Emotion: Theory, Methods, Research, Scherer Klaus R., Schorr Angela, and Johnstone Tom, eds. (New York: Oxford University Press, 2001), pp. 92120.
224.Masters and Sullivan , “Nonverbal displays and political leadership in France and the United States,” pp. 121130.
225.Masters , “Differences in responses of blacks and whites to American leaders,” pp. 183194.
226.Bucy , “Emotional and evaluative consequences of inappropriate leader displays,” exp. 1.
227.Bucy , “Emotion, presidential communication, and traumatic news: Processing the World Trade Center attacks,” pp. 7696.
228.Bucy and Newhagen , “The emotional appropriateness heuristic: Processing televised presidential reactions to the news,” pp. 5979.
229.Warnecke , Masters , and Kempter , “The roots of nationalism: Nonverbal behavior and xenophobia,” pp. 267282.
230.Tinbergen , “On aims and methods of ethology,” pp. 410433.
231.Lance Holbert R., “Expanding the use of structural equation modeling (SEM) in political communication research,” in Sourcebook for Political Communication Research: Methods, Measures, and Analytical Techniques, Bucy Erik P. and Lance Holbert R., eds. (New York: Routledge, in press).
232.Bucy and Newhagen , “The emotional appropriateness heuristic: Processing televised presidential reactions to the news,” pp. 5979.
233.Hansen and Pfau , “Multi-stage experimental designs in political communication research.”
234.Bucy and Grabe , “‘Happy warriors’ revisited: Hedonic and agonic display repertoires of presidential candidates on the evening news,” pp. 2444.
235.Masters Roger D., Sullivan Denis G., Feola Alice, and McHugo Gregory J., “Television coverage of candidates' display behavior during the 1984 Democratic primaries in the United States,” International Political Science Review 1987, 8:121130.
236.Masters Roger D., Frey Siegfried, and Bente Gary, “Dominance and attention: Images of leaders in German, French, and American TV news,” Polity 1991, 23:373394.
237.Ibid.
238.Bucy and Grabe , “‘Happy warriors’ revisited: Hedonic and agonic display repertoires of presidential candidates on the evening news,” pp. 2444.
239.Grabe and Bucy , Image Bite Politics: News and the Visual Framing of Elections, ch. 4.
240.Masters et al., “Television coverage of candidates' display behavior during the 984 emocratic primaries in the United States,” pp. 121130.
241.Ekman and Friesen , Unmasking the Face, ch. 11.
242.Fridlund , Human Facial Expression: An Evolutionary View.
243.Fridlund , “The new ethology of human facial expressions,” pp. 103129.
244.Russell James A., Bachorowski Jo-Anne, and Fernández-Dols José-Miguel, “Facial and vocal expressions of emotion,” Annual Review of Psychology, 2003, 54:329349.
245.Kaiser Susanne and Wehrle Thomas, “Facial expressions as indicators of appraisal processes,” in Appraisal Processes in Emotion: Theory, Methods, Research, Scherer Klaus R., Schorr Angela, and Johnstone Tom, eds. (New York: Oxford University Press, 2001), pp. 285300.
246.Scherer , “Appraisal considered as a process of multi-level sequential checking,” pp. 92120.
247.Scherer Klaus R. and Ellgring Heiner, “Are facial expressions of emotion produced by categorical affect programs or dynamically driven by appraisal?” Emotion 2007, 7:113130.
248.McHugo , Lanzetta , and Bush , “The effect of attitudes on emotional reactions to expressive displays of political leaders,” pp. 1941.
249.Masters , “Differences in responses of blacks and whites to American leaders,” pp. 183194.
250.Masters and Sullivan , “Nonverbal displays and political leadership in France and the United States,” pp. 121130.
251.Warnecke , Masters , and Kempter , “The roots of nationalism: Nonverbal behavior and xenophobia,” pp. 267282.
252.Anger-Elfenbein Hillary and Ambady Nalini, “On the universality and cultural specificity of emotion recognition: A meta-analysis,” Psychological Bulletin 2002, 128:203235.
253.Baum Matthew A., “Talking the vote: Why presidential candidates hit the talk show circuit,” American Journal of Political Science 2005, 49:213234.
254.Mutz Diana C., “Effects of ‘in-your-face’ television discourse on perceptions of legitimate opposition,” American Political Science Review 2007, 101(4):621635.
255.Grabe and Bucy , Image Bite Politics: News and the Visual Framing of Elections, ch. 5.
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Politics and the Life Sciences
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