Emotions and morality in political discourse: a shift from logos to ethos and pathos?

Activiteit: Professional or public presentation › Professional


The communication of emotions and strong beliefs about good and evil has become increasingly more popular in Western political discourse, and its effectiveness is difficult to deny. However, how the voting public picks up on these kinds of political messages, and how political persuasion can follow from them is not yet fully understood. Furthermore, how people reason about their own moral values when considering specific political issues, and how that may impact their stance on the subject is also not well understood. In my talk, I will present two lines of research dealing with these unknowns. The first focuses on how emotional undertones of anger and disgust in a message from a political actor may impact the moral perceptions the public has, and how these changed perceptions impact the subsequent support for the actor. The second focuses on how an individual’s own preferred moral reasoning style of utilitarianism or deontology may impact their considerations about and their stance towards the issue of immigration. Together, these research lines are part of a bigger investigation into the question of how emotions and morality play a role in modern-day, post-truth politics.
Gehouden opPontificia Univ Catolica Chile, Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile, Dept Psychol