Université de Montréal
Anxiety and Democratic Citizenship
Delia Dumitrescu's research program reconsiders the relationship between emotions (in particular, politically generated anxiety) and democratic decision-making.
Substantial evidence shows that, contrary to the democratic ideals, individuals rarely take the time to cast an informed vote. Some studies have suggested that feelings of anxiety generated by the political context could help correct this deviation from the democratic norm, as voters who feel anxious about a politician or about an outcome are likely to pay greater attention to their political environment. However, more recent studies suggest that high anxiety can have damaging effects on the quality of vote choice.
Delia's research explores the sources of political anxiety and its consequences on individual behaviour, over the course of four novel experiments. Drawing on political science and psychology research, her findings are expected to shed light on the individual and contextual factors (such as polarization and social pressure) which generate anxiety, and also provide new evidence of the effects that anxiety has on decision-making under various electoral conditions.
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