University of Cincinnati Lindner College of Business

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Anger Promotes Economic Conservatism

Author(s): Keri Kettle, Anthony Salerno

Status: Accepted
Year: 2017
Publication Name: Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin
Volume: 43, Issue: 10 (October), Page Number(s): 1440-1454


Research suggests that certain facets of people’s political ideals can be motivated by different goals. Although it is widely accepted that emotions motivate goal-directed behavior, less is known about how emotion-specific goals may influence different facets of ideology. In this research, we examine how anger affects political ideology and through what mechanisms such effects occur. Drawing on the dual-process motivational model of ideology and the functionalist perspective of emotion, we propose that anger leads people to support conservative economic ideals, which promote economic independence and discourage societal resource sharing. Four studies support our hypothesis that anger can enhance support for an election candidate espousing conservative economic ideals. We find that anger shifts people toward economic conservatism by orienting them toward competition for resources. Implications and future research on the relationship between emotions and political ideology are discussed.


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