Visceral politics : a theoretical and empirical proof of concept. / Tsakiris, Manos; Vehar, Neza; Tucciarelli, Raffaele.

In: Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences, Vol. 376, No. 1822, 20200142, 12.04.2021, p. 1-8.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review




While the study of affect and emotion has a long history in psychological sciences and neuroscience, the very question of how visceral states have come to the forefront of politics remains poorly understood. The concept of visceral politics captures how the physiological nature of our engagement with the social world influences how we make decisions, just as socio-political forces recruit our physiology to influence our socio-political behaviour. This line of research attempts to bridge the psychophysiological mechanisms that are responsible for our affective states with the historical socio-cultural context in which such states are experienced. We review findings and hypotheses at the intersections of life sciences, social sciences and humanities to shed light on how and why people come to experience such emotions in politics and what if any are their behavioural consequences. To answer these questions, we provide insights from predictive coding accounts of interoception and emotion and a proof of concept experiment to highlight the role of visceral states in political behaviour. This article is part of the theme issue 'The political brain: neurocognitive and computational mechanisms'.

Original languageEnglish
Article number20200142
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalPhilosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences
Issue number1822
Early online date22 Feb 2021
Publication statusPublished - 12 Apr 2021
This open access research output is licenced under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

ID: 41469962