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Cognitive Neuroscience and Politics: Next Steps

Cognitive Neuroscience and Politics: Next Steps

(p.375) Chapter Sixteen Cognitive Neuroscience and Politics: Next Steps
The Affect Effect
Ose Mcdermott
University of Chicago Press

This chapter, which introduces some of the larger issues raised by the study of emotion and politics, confirms the significance of incorporating emotion into the study of politics and political science. Challenges exist in the study of emotion and its application to important political considerations. The most reasonable starting point for a model of emotion in politics derives from evolutionary theories of biology and psychology. Media is one very important factor in the real world of politics and emotions. Casting political messages in narrow personal and emotional terms can eradicate the potential for common ground and lead to vehement disagreement. The effect of emotion on politics has widespread and manifest validity. As methods in cognitive neuroscience improve, the understanding of the functioning of the human brain improves in ways that make empirically grounded investigations more plausible and gratifying.

Keywords:   emotion, politics, political science, media, political messages, cognitive neuroscience, human brain

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