The Emotional Foundations of Political Support: How Fear and Anger Affect Trust in the Government in Times of the Covid-19 Pandemic

Erhardt, Julian; Freitag, Markus; Filsinger, Maximilian; Wamsler, Steffen (2021). The Emotional Foundations of Political Support: How Fear and Anger Affect Trust in the Government in Times of the Covid-19 Pandemic. Swiss political science review, 27(2), pp. 339-352. Wiley 10.1111/spsr.12462

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Crises like the current coronavirus pandemic evoke negative emotions in the general public. To date, however, little research has been conducted on the influence of these mental states on trust in the government – the uncontested key player in times of crises. Drawing on the appraisal and affective intelligence theories of emotions, we argue that fear and anger as the two crucial negative emotions in times of crises have divergent effects on trust in the government: Whereas fear leads to a rally-‘round-the-flag effect increasing trust in the government, anger attributes blame for the adverse circumstances to the government. We present empirical evidence for our arguments with an original three-wave online panel survey of 1’600 Swiss residents during the unprecedented times of the coronavirus pandemic. Our analysis provides empirical support for our arguments and further shows that the relationship is strongest for right-wing respondents.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

03 Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences > Social Sciences > Institute of Political Science

UniBE Contributor:

Erhardt, Julian Jonas; Freitag, Markus; Filsinger, Maximilian and Wamsler, Steffen

Subjects:

300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 320 Political science

ISSN:

1424-7755

Publisher:

Wiley

Funders:

[UNSPECIFIED] Berne University Research Foundation

Language:

English

Submitter:

Julian Jonas Erhardt

Date Deposited:

19 Jul 2021 09:44

Last Modified:

20 Jul 2021 07:43

Publisher DOI:

10.1111/spsr.12462

Uncontrolled Keywords:

Emotions; Political trust; Coronavirus pandemic; Rally-‘round-the-flag effect

BORIS DOI:

10.48350/156913

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/156913

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