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Party Identification in Emotional and Political Context: A Replication

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While testing an affective measure of party identification Burden and Klofstad (2005) found that using the phrase, “feel that you are,” in place of, “think of yourself as,” significantly shifted PID in a Republican direction. I adopt the theoretical framework of Affective Intelligence ( Marcus, Neuman, & MacKuen, 2000) to specify how the timing of their question-wording experiment may have influenced the results. I suggest that the outcome was a function of (a) anxiety present during the survey, which ran just after 9/11 of 2001, coupled with (b) a political environment that favored Republicans. In a 2005 survey I replicate the experiment and collect new measures with which to test expectations. I find no significant shift in PID, and provisional support for the Affective Intelligence explanation. The results validate Burden and Klofstad's measure, qualify their findings, and test the application of the theory of Affective Intelligence to party dispositions. Alternative explanations and directions for further research are discussed.
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Keywords: affect; affective intelligence; anxiety; emotions; party identification; question wording; replication

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: San Francisco State University

Publication date: December 1, 2007

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