American politics in the 21st century is largely deﬁned by heightened levels of anger and negativity. Yet, existing studies have done little to understand the ways in which anger and its associated personality dimensions combine to shape patterns of political behavior. In this dissertation, I present a series of studies illustrating the ways in which anger, as well as an individual’s broader personality proﬁle, aﬀect patterns of political behavior and public opinion. In the ﬁrst chapter I link the Big Five personality traits to the development of negative partisanship within the American electorate, with a particular focus on the role of Extraversion and Agreeableness. In the second chapter I utilize a new measure of anger, derived from clinical psychology, to show how individuals whose personality proﬁle predisposes them to be angry diﬀer from their more paciﬁc counterparts. Finally, in the third chapter I employ an experimental design to show how heightened levels of both political and incidental anger cause a reduction in individuals’ trust in government. Taken as a whole, this dissertation provides compelling evidence that anger plays a powerful role in explaining contemporary mass political behavior.
Table of Contents
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About this Dissertation
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|File download under embargo until 21 May 2024||2018-03-27||File download under embargo until 21 May 2024|