Attributions, Emotions, and Health Care Reform: President Obama & Political Cognition about the Affordable Care Act

34 Pages Posted: 2 Nov 2011 Last revised: 19 Mar 2012

Monique L. Lyle

Vanderbilt University

Sydney L. Jones

Vanderbilt University

Date Written: November 1, 2011

Abstract

Existing research has demonstrated that associating health care reform with President Obama was tantamount to racial priming, causing people to connect racial attitudes to attitudes toward health policies. Research on racial priming in other policy domains has demonstrated that racial cues also work by triggering emotional reactions that mediate the effect of these cues on attitudes and behaviors. With this in mind, we examine whether associating the 2010 health care reform law with President Obama triggers an aversive emotional response that then affects attitudes and behaviors associated with the law. To examine this, we are conducting an original experiment where respondents are primed either to associate the law with President Obama, the U.S. Congress, or no particular political figure or institution, and then asked their opinions about the law, including their emotional reactions and willingness to take action regarding the law. The results of this experiment stand to broaden our understanding of the mechanisms through which racial cues work to affect public attitudes toward health care reform.

Keywords: Racial Cues, Emotions, Health Care Reform

Suggested Citation

Lyle, Monique L. and Jones, Sydney L., Attributions, Emotions, and Health Care Reform: President Obama & Political Cognition about the Affordable Care Act (November 1, 2011). NCOBPS 43rd Meeting Paper. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1952260 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1952260

Monique L. Lyle (Contact Author)

Vanderbilt University ( email )

Nashville, TN 37240
United States

Sydney L. Jones

Vanderbilt University ( email )

Nashville, TN 37240
United States

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