Liberals more emotional than conservatives in decisions

Liberals more emotional than conservatives in decisions
Highlights

Liberals More Emotional Than Conservatives in Decisions. A new research has observed that people who are liberal in nature are more emotionally driven as compared to the conservative ones.

Washington: A new research has observed that people who are liberal in nature are more emotionally driven as compared to the conservative ones.

The study conducted at Tel Aviv University and the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya studied the interaction between emotion and political ideology and showed that the motivating power of emotions is not the same for those on different ends of the ideological spectrum.

Lead researcher Ruthie Pliskin asserted that they selected their different scenarios with the aim of tackling both positive and negative developments in intergroup conflicts, eliciting a range of different emotions towards the out-group and the situation, referring to different types of out-groups, and among different in-groups. Furthermore, they wanted to utilize both contrived, controlled scenarios, and major real-world developments, reflecting real and possible political developments.

The researchers conducted six studies to examine emotions, ideology, and how they act together to affect support for policies.

The first three studies illustrated that induced emotions had a greater influence on leftists' positions than on rightists' positions, even though the experimental manipulations affected levels of emotion similarly for all participants. Even the third study, in which a negative emotion was induced, led to changes in policy support only among leftists, as was the case with empathy in the first two studies.

Studies 4 through 6 looked at real-world scenarios, and found that Jewish-Israeli leftists' policy support was more related to both empathy and anger than rightists', at times of both peace efforts (study 4) and war (study 5). The final study found the same pattern of results with regard to fear among a different population, demonstrating that the interactive effect of ideology and emotion on policy support is not limited to a given population nor to emotions typically associated with leftist ideology.

The research is published in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.

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