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An emotional signature of political ideology: Evidence from two linguistic content-coding studies

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/12/2014
<mark>Journal</mark>Personality and Individual Differences
Volume71
Number of pages5
Pages (from-to)98-102
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

Approach-avoidance frameworks for political ideology have been proposed with increasing frequency. Following such frameworks and a wider motivation-emotion literature, it was hypothesized that political ideology would be predictive of the extent to which anxiety (avoidance-related) versus anger (approach-related) words would be evident in written texts. Study 1 sampled user-generated text within conservative versus liberal Internet chat rooms. After correcting for the greater normative frequency of anger words, a crossover ideology by emotion type interaction was found. Study 2 found a parallel interaction among college students writing about a non-political topic. Political ideology thus has a discrete emotional signature, one favoring anxiety among conservatives and anger among liberals.