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      Some Like It Hot: How Voters’ Attitude Towards Disrespect in Politics Affects Their Judgments of Candidates

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          Abstract

          In public debates, political candidates often attack their opponents disrespectfully. Research revealed mixed effects of such behavior on voters’ candidate judgments. In order to understand these results, we argue that it is necessary to consider onlookers’ general attitude towards disrespect in politics. Across an experimental design (N = 229) and a field study (N = 199), we found that voters who consider disrespect a “necessary evil” in the political arena judged disrespectful politicians more favorably with regard to both communion and agency. Furthermore, they displayed a higher intention to vote as well as actually voted more in favor of disrespectful candidates compared to voters who disapproved of disrespect in politics. The results show that the success of a disrespectful communication strategy substantively depends on the audience.

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          A model of (often mixed) stereotype content: Competence and warmth respectively follow from perceived status and competition.

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            Universal dimensions of social cognition: warmth and competence.

            Like all perception, social perception reflects evolutionary pressures. In encounters with conspecifics, social animals must determine, immediately, whether the "other" is friend or foe (i.e. intends good or ill) and, then, whether the "other" has the ability to enact those intentions. New data confirm these two universal dimensions of social cognition: warmth and competence. Promoting survival, these dimensions provide fundamental social structural answers about competition and status. People perceived as warm and competent elicit uniformly positive emotions and behavior, whereas those perceived as lacking warmth and competence elicit uniform negativity. People classified as high on one dimension and low on the other elicit predictable, ambivalent affective and behavioral reactions. These universal dimensions explain both interpersonal and intergroup social cognition.
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              The aggression questionnaire.

              A new questionnaire on aggression was constructed. Replicated factor analyses yielded 4 scales: Physical Aggression, Verbal Aggression, Anger, and Hostility. Correlational analysis revealed that anger is the bridge between both physical and verbal aggression and hostility. The scales showed internal consistency and stability over time. Men scored slightly higher on Verbal Aggression and Hostility and much higher on Physical Aggression. There was no sex difference for Anger. The various scales correlated differently with various personality traits. Scale scores correlated with peer nominations of the various kinds of aggression. These findings suggest the need to assess not only overall aggression but also its individual components.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                JSPP
                J Soc Polit Psych
                Journal of Social and Political Psychology
                J. Soc. Polit. Psych.
                PsychOpen
                2195-3325
                03 February 2017
                : 5
                : 1
                : 58-81
                Affiliations
                [a ]RespectResearchGroup, University of Hamburg , Hamburg, Germany
                [b ]Department of Management and Economics, Kühne Logistics University , Hamburg, Germany
                [3]Jagiellonian University, Kraków, Poland
                Author notes
                [* ]RespectResearchGroup, University of Hamburg, Rothenbaumchaussee 34, 20148 Hamburg, Germany. moelders@ 123456respectresearchgroup.org
                Article
                jspp.v5i1.633
                10.5964/jspp.v5i1.633
                a8d6aec6-6396-4617-83ae-c3f0e5c7cc3b
                Copyright @ 2017

                All content is freely available without charge to users or their institutions. Users are allowed to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of the articles in this journal without asking prior permission of the publisher or the author. Articles are distributed under a http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

                History
                : 20 March 2016
                : 08 January 2017
                Categories
                Original Research Reports

                Psychology
                voting decision,attitude towards disrespect,agency,communion,disrespect
                Psychology
                voting decision, attitude towards disrespect, agency, communion, disrespect

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