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Emotions are powerful motivators of human behavior and attitudes. Emotions also play an important role in guiding policy support in conflict and other political contexts. Researchers at Tel Aviv University and the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya have studied the interaction between emotion and political ideology, showing that the motivating power of emotions is not the same for those on different ends of the ideological spectrum. Their research is published in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.
Design of the study
The researchers conducted six studies to examine emotions, ideology, and how they act together to affect support for policies. The first two studies focused on intergroup empathy, while the third study examined the interactive influence of ideology and despair on support for policies. Participants self-identified as being at different points of the right-left ideological spectrum.
Specific scenarios were selected for the six studies relating to current events in Israel, mainly surrounding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and possible steps towards its resolution.