George E. Marcus

George E. Marcus
Williams College · Department of Political Science

Ph'D. Northwestern 1968

About

90
Publications
92,491
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
5,380
Citations
Introduction
George E. Marcus is emeritus in the Department of Political Science, Williams College. George does research in Political Psychology, Political Methodology and Elections, Public Opinion and Voting Behavior. An earlier focus has been on political tolerance. Currently his research examines the role of emotions in politics, and reimagining democratic theory in light of the insights into the ancient but now archaic opposition of reason and passion provided by neuroscience.
Additional affiliations
July 1967 - present
Williams College
Position
  • Professor of Political Science

Publications

Publications (90)
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Emotion has become an increasing influential area of research in psychology, political psychology, political science and other social sciences. Normally research is driven by theory. As such it is worth considering how well the current emotion research programs meet the requirements of a full blown theory. Among these, in alphabetical order, are: a...
Research
Full-text available
This is an ongoing (hence partial) bibliography including articles, chapters, and books, that strike me as information on the topic of measuring emotion. Additions are most welcome - just email them to me.
Article
Full-text available
All empirical investigations rely on formative presumptions. Over the past 70 plus years, research on emotion has long been reliant on data collected using subjective responses and by experimental exposure to target stimuli, and increasingly with various brain scanning technologies. During this period neuroscience research greatly contributed to ou...
Preprint
Full-text available
This is the final version. If you have questions, happy to receive them.
Article
Full-text available
book review of Gwyneth H. McClendon. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2018. 248p.
Article
Full-text available
We are grateful to John Jost for carefully engaging with our work and presenting a different interpretation of our findings on the effects of fear and anger stemming from the November 13, 2015, Paris attacks on the propensity to vote for the far right. Jost advances a model that holds that anger mediates the effect of fear on support for the far ri...
Article
Full-text available
In this Democracy Papers essay, George E. Marcus addresses the important role that emotions play in politics. In a timely contribution to essays on the Anxieties of Democracy, Marcus delves into what we might broadly call the anxieties of citizens, distinguishing between the political consequences of fear and anger. In order to e!ectively address n...
Article
Full-text available
After a long period of inattention, began to attract greater scrutiny as a key driver of human behavior in the mid-1980s. One approach that has achieved significant influence in political science is affective intelligence theory (AIT). We deploy AIT here to begin to understand the recent rise in support for right-wing populist leaders around the gl...
Article
Full-text available
Research on citizens’ inattentiveness to political news has built a theoretical base for understanding political judgment in the American electorate. The research, however, has a strong cognitive orientation with surprisingly little attention to the dynamic interaction between emotional and attentional factors. To broaden our understanding of these...
Article
Full-text available
The conjecture that negative emotions underpin support for far‐right politics is common among pundits and scholars. The conventional account holds that authoritarian populists catalyze public anxiety about the changing social order and/or deteriorating national economic conditions, and this anxiety subsequently drives up support for the far right....
Preprint
Extensive survey and experimental research on citizens' inattentiveness to political news has built a theoretical base for understanding political judgment in the American electorate. The research, however, has a strong cognitive orientation with surprisingly little attention to the dynamic interaction between emotional and attentional factors. Whe...
Article
Full-text available
Scholarly interest in the role of emotion in accounting for how people react to political figures, events, and messages has escalated over the past two plus decades in political science and psychology. However, research on the validity of the measurement of subjective self-report of emotional responses is rather limited. We introduce here a new mea...
Data
Full-text available
Preprint
Full-text available
Scholarly interest in the role of emotion in accounting for how people react to political figures, events, and messages has escalated over the past two plus decades in political science and psychology. However, research on the validity of the measurement of subjective self-report of emotional responses is rather limited. We introduce here a new mea...
Research
Full-text available
The finding that threat increases levels of authoritarianism has been well established in political research. The questions of individual differences and the psychological mechanism behind this switch, however still remain open as current literature offers two contrasting views. One line of research argues that threat increases authoritarianism amo...
Article
Full-text available
The finding that threat increases levels of authoritarianism has been well established in political research. The questions of individual differences and the psychological mechanism behind this switch, however still remain open as current literature offers two contrasting views. One line of research argues that threat increases authoritarianism amo...
Article
Full-text available
Some scholars assert that political ideology is a deep, enduring and fundamental orientation persistent through life. One school of thought holds that the concept of ideological identification can explain why liberals and conservatives display enduring differences not only on substantive issues but also on how they go about making political judgmen...
Article
Full-text available
The shift to attention on emotion and politics takes us back to the early '80s – a time when the cognitive revolution was well ensconced in both political science and psychology. [1] When I began with my interest in emotion, the route I took – to derive theoretical and methodological (broadly defined) guidance from neuroscience research on emotion...
Book
Although the rational choice approach toward political behavior has been severely criticized, its adherents claim that competing models have failed to offer a more scientific model of political decisionmaking. This measured but provocative book offers precisely that: an alternative way of understanding political behavior based on cognitive research...
Article
Full-text available
Though I am sympathetic to the program of research that John Hibbing advances, I raise four issues with the claims he presents. I argue that political science has not been slow to adopt an interest in biology. I argue that like all perspectives on how to advance knowledge, neurobiology must win its place by generating demonstrable results central t...
Chapter
Full-text available
Democracy can take different institutional forms and each has its advocates. All variants, however, rest on shared foundational conceptions. Though not to the same degree, all theories of democracy rely on specific conceptions of thought, action, knowledge, and justice. For each of these concepts, our understanding of reason and emotion is deeply i...
Chapter
Full-text available
The theory of affective intelligence has emerged as the principal theory of pre-conscious affective appraisal systems. In the early 1980s psychologist Robert Zajonc (1980) argued that preferences arise on mere exposure to stimuli without the necessity of conscious awareness. Shortly thereafter neuroscientists identified the brain systems that have...
Article
Full-text available
One of the major assumptions of John Zaller's RAS model of public opinion is that people need explicit cues from partisan elites in order to evaluate persuasive messages. This puts the public in the position of a passive audience, unable to scrutinize information or make independent decisions. However, there is evidence that people can, under some...
Article
Full-text available
The theory of affective intelligence posits that an individual's emotions help govern a reliance on political habits or, alternatively, deliberation and attention to new political information. Some of the evidence adduced draws on the fact that voters who are anxious about their own party's candidate do not rely blindly on their partisanship but in...
Article
Full-text available
This chapter looks at the role of emotion in public opinion, first discussing how emotion has been understood and theorized by various scholars. Next, it views the present research on the consequences of emotion for political behaviour and public opinion, and ends with a review of the contribution of emotion to the study of certain substantive doma...
Article
Full-text available
Why do people practice citizenship in a partisan rather than in a deliberative fashion? We argue that they are not intractably disposed to one type of citizenship, but instead adopt one of two different modes depending on the strategic character of current circumstances. While some situations prompt partisan solidarity, other situations encourage p...
Article
Full-text available
Employing a specially designed survey experiment with a large sample size and extensive measurement batteries, we examine and contrast the roles played by personality traits and emotional states in shaping political attention, openness to new ideas, and an inclination toward cooperation. Of particular concern is the possibility that the evident emo...
Chapter
Full-text available
A large body of psychological research on citizen competence has resoundingly suggested that citizens are ill-equipped to meet the demands of sound democratic decision making. This chapter challenges this view, arguing that democratic politics presents a wide array of challenges, each demanding different civic skills. In particular, it contends tha...
Article
Full-text available
The theory of affective intelligence dichotomizes challenging situations into threatening and risky ones. When people perceive a familiar threat, they tend to be dogmatic and partisan, since they are mobilizing decisive action based on habitual behaviors and nearly instinctual perceptions that have proved their worth in similar situations. When fac...
Article
Full-text available
Emotions enable people to navigate various political environments, differentiating familiar situations where standard operating procedures are suitable from unfamiliar terrain when more attention is needed. While previous research identifies consequences of emotion, we know less about what triggers affective response. In this article, the authors i...
Book
Passion and emotion run deep in politics, but researchers have only recently begun to study how they influence our political thinking. Contending that the long-standing neglect of such feelings has left unfortunate gaps in our understanding of political behavior, The Affect Effect fills the void by providing a comprehensive overview of current rese...
Chapter
Full-text available
Emotion, after a modest hiatus during the “cognitive revolution,” has reemerged of late to become a subject of significant attention in political science.1 The other contributions in this volume give ample evidence of the added understanding we gain by including emotion into the theoretical and empirical mix. Our entry in this volume turns to a que...
Article
Full-text available
Common sense recognizes emotion's ability to influence judgments. We argue that affective processes, in addition to generating feeling states, also influence how political cognition is manifested. Drawing on the theory of affective intelligence, we examine the role that anxiety plays in how and when people rely on predispositions and when they rely...
Article
Thinking About Political Psychology. Edited by James H. Kuklinski. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002. 354p. $65.00 - - Volume 1 Issue 2 - George E. Marcus
Chapter
Full-text available
Understanding emotion has for a very long time been central to the ongoing attempt to understand human nature. And this understanding has also been central in the debate about the proper political regime that human nature can sustain..Indeed some have argued that it was concern about the noxious impact of emotion that gave rise to philosophy in anc...
Chapter
Full-text available
Article
Full-text available
The study of emotion in politics has been active, especially as it relates to the personality of political leaders and as an explanation for how people evaluate significant features around them. Researchers have been divided into two groups - those who study leaders and those who study publics. The research programs have also been divided between t...
Article
Full-text available
There is substantial evidence that intolerance arises from perceptions of difference. A prevailing view holds that even if intolerance is understandable as a defense mechanism, or as an attitude intended to ward of threatening groups and noxious attitudes, it is often the result of human irrationality and indulgence of prejudice. This conclusion is...
Article
Full-text available
By incorporating emotionality, we propose to enrich information-processing models of citizens' behavior during election campaigns. We demonstrate that two distinct dynamic emotional responses play influential roles during election campaigns. Feelings of anxiety, responsive to threat and novelty, stimulate attention toward the campaign, political le...
Article
Full-text available
The article reviews the three major theoretical approaches to emotions in psychology: valence, discrete, and circumplex models. Recent evidence that supports the circumplex model is reviewed. Current applications of circumplex (i.e., two dimensional) emotional response models to voting behavior are reviewed. Underlying the descriptive aspects of th...
Article
Full-text available
Converse developed the concept of ideological constraint to describe the American electorate. His finding that the electorate demonstrates little ideological constraint has been taken, and continues to be taken, as evidence of diminished capacity, a failure to meet the standards democratic theory requires. Converse's article has lead to two challen...
Article
Full-text available
Over the past two decades psychological models of affect have changed from valence (one dimensional) models to multiple dimensional models. The most recent models, circumplex models, are two dimensional. Feeling thermometer measures, which derive their theoretical logic from earlier (valence) models of emotional appraisal, are shown to be confounde...
Article
Full-text available
This path-breaking book reconceptualizes our understanding of political tolerance as well as of its foundations. Previous studies, the authors contend, overemphasized the role of education in explaining the presence of tolerance, while giving insufficient weight to personality and ideological factors. With an innovative methodology for measuring le...
Article
Full-text available
In recent years, political theorists and social scientists have sought to assess the contemporary relevance and validity of a so-called classical doctrine of democracy in light of empirical evidence emphasizing the apathy, ignorance, incompetence, and/or authoritarian inclinations of ordinary citizens. Elite or revisionist theories have urged a dra...
Article
Full-text available
Over the past 25 years a number of conclusions concerning the development of political tolerance have come to be well accepted in the literature on political behavior. There are, however, two persist- ing problems with the studies that have generated thesefindings: they have relied on a content-biased measure of tolerance, and havefailed to examine...
Article
Full-text available
This article proposes an alternative conceptualization of political tolerance, a new measurement strategy consistent with that conceptualization, and some new findings based upon this measurement strategy. Briefly put, we argue that tolerance presumes a political objection to a group or to an idea, and if such an objection does not arise, neither d...
Article
Full-text available
Recent research into the structure of public attitudes suggests that levels of "constraint" in the mass public increased substantially between 1956 and 1964, largely in response to the ideological nature of the 1964 presidential election. This article examines the validity of this interpretation. It suggests that constraint in the mass public proba...
Article
Full-text available
Converse's definition of ideological contraint is expanded to provide for various respondent identified ideological dimensions rather than an all encompassing liberal-conservative dimension. Using this redefinition a sample of adults is shown to have high levels of ideological constraint. Ideological constraint is shown to vary with the degree of c...
Article
Full-text available
This article is an outgrowth of a dissatisfaction with current conceptualizations and operationalizations of political ideology. It is argued that current operationalizations of the structure and the content of belief systems are confounded with one another. Thus, findings that indicate that mass publics have unsophisticated ideologies (i.e., struc...
Article
Full-text available
This analysis examines the implications of affective intelligence theory for the dynamics of emotional responses to political stimuli and information seeking over time. Using a panel design, we conduct an experiment on the web to trace the consequences of emo-tional responses for citizen information-seeking over time. Two parallel panels add some r...
Article
George E. Marcus is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Williams College.

Projects

Projects (4)
Project
To provide a resource for those interested in measuring emotion. I invite additions and comments