Date of this Version
Wright, Kelsey. 2023. Physiological Response to Political Messaging. Undergraduate Honors Thesis. University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
The overall goal of this study was to understand if individuals who politically identify as Democrats or Republicans have a statistically significant difference in their emotional response to congruent and incongruent political media clips. I used physiological measures of arousal, valence, and emotional control to understand threat response while participants watched congruent and incongruent political media clips. There was no significant difference between the response to congruent and incongruent media in individuals who identify as Democratic or Republican. There was no significant difference in physiological measures when individuals viewed congruent media clips than viewing incongruent media clips. However, there was a statistically significant difference in the magnitude of the valence of emotion between political conservatives and political liberals in response to political stimuli. It was shown that political conservatives tend to have a more negative response to incongruent media than political liberals. It was found that there is a significant difference in emotional control with age, with older participants having less emotional control than younger participants. It was seen that male participants had more physiological arousal when viewing the video clips than female participants.