Does Affective Contagion Promote Coherent Political Thinking?
42 Pages Posted: 13 Aug 2009 Last revised: 26 Aug 2011
Date Written: 2009
We have previously demonstrated that subliminal (i. e., unnoticed) affective primes (smiley and frowning cartoon faces) influence the valence of thoughts that one recalls and these affect-elicited thoughts mediate the effect of the prior attitude on posterior attitude and on public policy evaluations (Erisen, Lodge, & Taber, 2008). We extend these findings by showing that the subliminal affective primes also alter the quality of thoughts by promoting causal links in political reasoning. Individuals are more likely to think in cause-and-effect chains when affective influences involve in thinking and reasoning on political issues and public policies.
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