Emotion in Party Rhetoric in UK Party Manifestos 1900-2010

05.05.2014 - 12:00
Location : 
A 5,6 Raum A 231
Type of Event : 
AB B-Kolloquium
Dr. Spyros Kosmidis
Lecturer affiliation: 
University of Oxford

Research in political psychology has highlighted the importance of emotions for elections and voters yet we only have a limited understanding of the strategic use of emotions in party rhetoric. To rectify this, our paper introduces a measure of emotions in party communication that is based on psycholinguistics and we generate affect scores for political parties across time. This paper analyzes two dimensions of emotion; one pertaining to pleasantness (valence) and one describing enthusiasm and anxiety. Our analyses reveal intuitive patterns in the data and are in support of our theoretical predictions about ideological polarization, electoral uncertainty, incumbency and economic conditions.