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Democracy Matters - Episode 36: Election Emotions & What We Can Do About Them


 
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SUMMARY: Are you feeling anxious, fatigued, worried, angry or hopeful about the election? In this episode we talk with Dr. Benjamin Blankenship, assistant professor of Psychology at James Madison University about what drives election emotions and what we can do to cope.


Surveys and news reports show many Americans are feeling angry, anxiety, stress and worry, among other emotions, about U.S. elections. Some emotional responses can be deeply problematic for democracies because they can lead to epistemic emotions like disillusionment, confusion, world-wariness, apathy or a sense of loss of control. These emotions can cause people to think that their voices don’t matter and make people less likely to vote. Other emotions, like anger, can be a powerful driver of turnout, which is why we see so much anger signaling in elections.

In this episode, we talk with Dr. Benjamin Blankenship, assistant professor of Psychology at James Madison University about how and why we have emotional responses to elections and what individuals might do to cope with election emotions.

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Published: Thursday, October 8, 2020

Last Updated: Friday, October 9, 2020

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