Winning Proposal to the Pierce Scholar's Fund: 2016 Competition

Project Title: Sources and Consequences of Public Anger and Fear

Faculty Sponsors: Ted Brader

Graduate Student: Hwayong Shin

Project Description

We will explore the distinct origins of public fear and anger, and thus their divergent consequences for political behavior. To test the theoretical expectations, we intend to run a set of experiments in the vein of earlier research by Brader and colleagues. Our goal is to design a set of experimental manipulations in the form of news stories about politically-relevant events or issues. These manipulations must isolate the circumstances that are likely to give rise to the hypothesized appraisals, while holding other attributes of the event/issue constant. We also intend to use events or issues reflective of those citizens encounter on a more-or-less regular basis. Our collaboration this summer will focus on carefully developing and pre-testing these manipulations as well as fielding and analyzing at least one experiment. Ultimately, our hope is to write one or more publishable papers reporting the results of this research. This project will contribute to the public opinion literature by identifying the types of political and civic situations that trigger public anger versus public fear versus both.