Anger, Anxiety and Corruption Perceptions: Evidence from France

Sarah Birch, Nicholas Allen, Katja Sarmiento-Mirwaldt

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This article assesses the roles of anxiety and anger in shaping people’s perceptions of politicians’ integrity. Drawing on recent work on the role of affect in shaping political judgement, the article develops a theoretical model of the anticipated role of anger and anxiety in structuring reactions to allegations of political misconduct. The model is tested on a unique data set that includes results of an experiment fielded as part of a survey carried out in January 2013 among a representative sample of the French adult population. The analysis finds that those in whom politically dubious actions generate anxiety are more sensitive to contextual details than other respondents, although the role of anger in modulating ethical judgements is less clear-cut, dampening attention to information about negatively assessed behaviour but enhancing attention to information about behaviour that is assessed more positively.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)893-911
Number of pages19
JournalPolitical Studies
Issue number4
Early online date9 Jun 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017

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