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Theorizing Affect's Effects

Theorizing Affect's Effects

Chapter:
(p.1) Chapter One Theorizing Affect's Effects
Source:
The Affect Effect
Author(s):
W. Russell NeumanGeorge E. MarcusAnn N. CriglerMichael Mackuen
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226574431.003.0001

This chapter, which discusses the varying centrality of emotional concepts in theorizing about political behavior, also addresses the character of the phenomenon of emotion itself, particularly the question of its structure. It then considers the role played by human emotions in a theory of political thinking and behavior, and how affect and cognition structurally linked, as well as presenting a brief review of how the dynamics of political affect might be applied in political practice and perhaps public policy. Affect is the evolved cognitive and physiological response to the detection of personal significance. Discrete models, valence models, and multidimensional models are three schools of thought in characterizing the dimensionality of affect. The new methodologies, especially those associated with brain functioning and convergent findings from multiple methodologies, add new gravitas and perhaps urgency to theory building and testing in this domain.

Keywords:   political behavior, human emotions, political thinking, political affect, cognition, public policy, discrete models, valence models, multidimensional models

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