The Affect Effect in the Very Real World of Political Campaigns

Dan Schnur

in The Affect Effect

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print September 2007 | ISBN: 9780226574417
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226574431 | DOI:
The Affect Effect in the Very Real World of Political Campaigns

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This chapter presents a distinction among political variables that practitioners think about every day but which simply would not occur to academics. A voter's predisposition is as important as the message, and the nature and strength of his or her loyalties make up the critical component in most emotion-based messaging decisions. Biographical differences between candidates can have an enormous effect on the way a message is received by the voters. It is believed that hope is the preferred means of communicating to a campaign's most loyal supporters (the saints) and that fear is the most effective way of discouraging the most virulent opposition (the sinners) from turning out at the polls. The ideological makeup of the academic research community and the impact of those preferences on the practical application of its findings in political campaigns are finally considered.

Keywords: voters; messaging decisions; biographical differences; candidates; hope; political campaigns; fear

Chapter.  7807 words. 

Subjects: US Politics

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