Author: Drew Westen
Publisher: Hachette UK
Release Date: 2008-05-06
Genre: Political Science
The Political Brain is a groundbreaking investigation into the role of emotion in determining the political life of the nation. For two decades Drew Westen, professor of psychology and psychiatry at Emory University, has explored a theory of the mind that differs substantially from the more "dispassionate" notions held by most cognitive psychologists, political scientists, and economists—and Democratic campaign strategists. The idea of the mind as a cool calculator that makes decisions by weighing the evidence bears no relation to how the brain actually works. When political candidates assume voters dispassionately make decisions based on "the issues," they lose. That's why only one Democrat has been re-elected to the presidency since Franklin Roosevelt—and only one Republican has failed in that quest. In politics, when reason and emotion collide, emotion invariably wins. Elections are decided in the marketplace of emotions, a marketplace filled with values, images, analogies, moral sentiments, and moving oratory, in which logic plays only a supporting role. Westen shows, through a whistle-stop journey through the evolution of the passionate brain and a bravura tour through fifty years of American presidential and national elections, why campaigns succeed and fail. The evidence is overwhelming that three things determine how people vote, in this order: their feelings toward the parties and their principles, their feelings toward the candidates, and, if they haven't decided by then, their feelings toward the candidates' policy positions. Westen turns conventional political analyses on their head, suggesting that the question for Democratic politics isn't so much about moving to the right or the left but about moving the electorate. He shows how it can be done through examples of what candidates have said—or could have said—in debates, speeches, and ads. Westen's discoveries could utterly transform electoral arithmetic, showing how a different view of the mind and brain leads to a different way of talking with voters about issues that have tied the tongues of Democrats for much of forty years—such as abortion, guns, taxes, and race. You can't change the structure of the brain. But you can change the way you appeal to it. And here's how…
The must-read summary of Drew Westen's book: “The Political Brain: The Role of Emotion in deciding the Fate of the Nation”. This complete summary of "The Political Brain" by Drew Westen, a professor of psychology and psychiatry at Emory University, presents his argument that emotion wins over reason during elections, and illustrates how this is the case with a number of campaign ads, debates and candidate profiles that have won voters' hearts in America. Added-value of this summary: • Save time • Understand the role of emotion in making political decisions • Expand your knowledge of politics and psychology To learn more, read "The Political Brain" and discover how emotion affects voters' decisions, and how political parties can make use of this knowledge.
A groundbreaking scientific examination of the way our brains understand politics from a New York Times bestselling author One of the world 's best-known linguists and cognitive scientists, George Lakoff has a knack for making science make sense for general readers. In his new book, Lakoff spells out what cognitive science has discovered about reason, and reveals that human reason is far more interesting than we thought it was. Reason is physical, mostly unconscious, metaphorical, emotion-laden, and tied to empathy-and there are biological explanations behind our moral and political thought processes. His call for a New Enlightenment is a bold and striking challenge to the cherished beliefs not only of philosophers, but of pundits, pollsters, and political leaders. The Political Mind is a passionate, erudite, and groundbreaking book that will appeal to anyone interested in how the mind works and how we function socially and politically.
This volume adopts an interdisciplinary approach to the analysis of citizenship that offers new insights and integrates previously disparate research agendas. It also suggests the possibility of informed interventions aimed at meeting new challenges faced by citizens in modern democracies.
Author: David William Bates
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Release Date: 2011-11-01
Genre: Political Science
We fear that the growing threat of violent attack has upset the balance between existential concepts of political power, which emphasize security, and traditional notions of constitutional limits meant to protect civil liberties. We worry that constitutional states cannot, during a time of war, terror, and extreme crisis, maintain legality and preserve civil rights and freedoms. David Williams Bates allays these concerns by revisiting the theoretical origins of the modern constitutional state, which, he argues, recognized and made room for tensions among law, war, and the social order. We traditionally associate the Enlightenment with the taming of absolutist sovereign power through the establishment of a legal state based on the rights of individuals. In his critical rereading, Bates shows instead that Enlightenment thinkers conceived of political autonomy in a systematic, theoretical way. Focusing on the nature of foundational violence, war, and existential crises, eighteenth-century thinkers understood law and constitutional order not as constraints on political power but as the logical implication of that primordial force. Returning to the origin stories that informed the beginnings of political community, Bates reclaims the idea of law, warfare, and the social order as intertwining elements subject to complex historical development. Following an analysis of seminal works by seventeenth-century natural-law theorists, Bates reviews the major canonical thinkers of constitutional theory (Locke, Montesquieu, and Rousseau) from the perspective of existential security and sovereign power. Countering Carl Schmitt's influential notion of the autonomy of the political, Bates demonstrates that Enlightenment thinkers understood the autonomous political sphere as a space of law protecting individuals according to their political status, not as mere members of a historically contingent social order.
Author: George Lakoff
Publisher: Andrews UK Limited
Release Date: 2016-11-08
At first glance, issues like economic inequality, healthcare, climate change, and abortion seem unrelated. However, when thinking and talking about them, people reliably fall into two camps: conservative and liberal. What explains this divide? Why do conservatives and liberals hold the positions they do? And what is the conceptual nature of those who decide elections, commonly called the "political middle"? The answers are profound. They have to do with how our minds and brains work. Political attitudes are the product of what cognitive scientists call Embodied Cognition — the grounding of abstract thought in everyday world experience. Clashing beliefs about how to run nations largely arise from conflicting beliefs about family life: conservatives endorse a strict father and liberals a nurturant parent model. So-called "middle" voters are not in the middle at all. They are morally biconceptual, divided between both models, and as a result highly susceptible to moral political persuasion. In this brief introduction, Lakoff and Wehling reveal how cognitive science research has advanced our understanding of political thought and language, forcing us to revise common folk theories about the rational voter.
Author: Michael Bassett
Publisher: Auckland University Press
Release Date: 2013-10-01
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
Sir Joseph Ward (1856-1930) was the leading political figure during the forty-year life of the Liberal Party in New Zealand. He was a member of Ballance's first Cabinet, twice Prime Minister (1906-12 and 1928-30), and was still a Cabinet Minister at the time of his death. This lively biography is the story of an ambitious first-generation New Zealander of Irish Catholic parents who spent more than half a century in local and central government politics, influencing the directions taken in many areas of New Zealand life. It contains much new material about Ward's private business dealings, his flourishing Southland company, his bankruptcy and his remarkable rehabilitation. Michael Bassett reveals a genial, courteous, fast-talking man of vision who nevertheless experienced difficulty adapting to a changing world. Bassett writes with the insight into political life of a former cabinet minister.
Author: Michael P. Lynch
Publisher: MIT Press
Release Date: 2012-03-16
Why does reason matter, if (as many people seem to think) in the end everything comes down to blind faith or gut instinct? Why not just go with what you believe even if it contradicts the evidence? Why bother with rational explanation when name-calling, manipulation, and force are so much more effective in our current cultural and political landscape? Michael Lynch's In Praise of Reason offers a spirited defense of reason and rationality in an era of widespread skepticism -- when, for example, people reject scientific evidence about such matters as evolution, climate change, and vaccines when it doesn't jibe with their beliefs and opinions.In recent years, skepticism about the practical value of reason has emerged even within the scientific academy. Many philosophers and psychologists claim that the reasons we give for our most deeply held views are often little more than rationalizations of our prior convictions. InPraise of Reason gives us a counterargument. Although skeptical questions about reason have a deep and interesting history, they can be answered. In particular, appeals to scientific principles of rationality are part of the essential common currency of any civil democratic society. The idea that everything is arbitrary -- that reason has no more weight than blind faith -- undermines a key principle of a civil society: that we owe our fellow citizens explanations for what we do. Reason matters -- not just for the noble ideal of truth, but for the everyday world in which we live.
Author: Julie Sedivy
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Release Date: 2011-05-03
As citizens of capitalist, free-market societies, we tend to celebrate choice and competition. However, in the 21st century, as we have gained more and more choices, we have also become greater targets for persuasive messages from advertisers who want to make those choices for us. In Sold on Language, noted language scientists Julie Sedivy and Greg Carlson examine how rampant competition shapes the ways in which commercial and political advertisers speak to us. In an environment saturated with information, advertising messages attempt to compress as much persuasive power into as small a linguistic space as possible. These messages, the authors reveal, might take the form of a brand name whose sound evokes a certain impression, a turn of phrase that gently applies peer pressure, or a subtle accent that zeroes in on a target audience. As more and more techniques of persuasion are aimed squarely at the corner of our mind which automatically takes in information without conscious thought or deliberation, does 'endless choice' actually mean the end of true choice? Sold on Language offers thought-provoking insights into the choices we make as consumers and citizens – and the choices that are increasingly being made for us. Click here for more discussion and debate on the authors’ blog: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/sold-language [Wiley disclaims all responsibility and liability for the content of any third-party websites that can be linked to from this website. Users assume sole responsibility for accessing third-party websites and the use of any content appearing on such websites. Any views expressed in such websites are the views of the authors of the content appearing on those websites and not the views of Wiley or its affiliates, nor do they in any way represent an endorsement by Wiley or its affiliates.]
Author: Linda Beail
Release Date: 2012-11-27
Genre: Political Science
Sarah Palin’s 2008 vice presidential candidacy garnered tremendous levels of interest, polarizing the American public—both Democrats and Republicans alike. While many have wondered who she "really" is, trying to cut through the persona she projects and the one projected by the media, Beail and Longworth analyze why she touches such a nerve with the American electorate. Why does she ignite such passionate loyalty – and such loathing? How did her candidacy mobilize new parts of the electorate? Using the notion of "framing" as a way of understanding political perception, the authors analyze the narratives told by and about Sarah Palin in the 2008 election – from beauty queen, maverick, faithful fundamentalist and post-feminist role model to pit bull hockey mom, frontier woman, and political outsider. They discuss where those frames are rooted historically in popular and political culture, why they were selected, and the ways that the frames resonated with the electorate. Framing Sarah Palin addresses the question of what the choice and perception of these frames tells us about the state of American politics, and about the status of American women in politics in particular. What do the debates engendered by these images of Palin say about the current roles and power available to women in American society? What are the implications of her experience for future candidates, particularly women candidates, in American politics?
This book constitutes the thoroughly refereed post-conference proceedings of the International Workshop on Multimodal Communication in Political Speech: Shaping Minds and Social Actions, held in Rome, Italy, during November 10-12, 2010. The 16 regular papers were carefully reviewed and selected from 33 submissions and presented with three key-notes. The purpose of the Political Speech workshops is to provide a forum for discussing research areas of persuasive agents and social signal processing. This book covers topics on multimodal aspects of political communication, including persuasion, fallacies, racist discourse, as well as music, autobiographic memories, metonymies, dominant postures, rhetorical strategies, interruptions, intonation, and voice appeal.
Author: S. Patriarca
Release Date: 2011-12-16
Bringing together the work of a ground-breaking group of scholars working on the Italian Risorgimento to consider how modern Italian national identity was first conceived and constructed politically, the book makes a timely contribution to current discussions about the role of patriotism and the nature of nationalism in present-day Italy.
Featuring more than 800 answers to questions of how the human mind and the science of psychology really work, this fascinating discussion gives readers the real facts of modern psychology in a fun, approachable way. Avoiding the entertainment fluff of pop psychology and the dryness of overly academic works, this exploration gives insight into the current science of the mind by answering questions questions such as What makes a marriage last? Why do toddlers have temper tantrums? and What are the benefits of getting older? In addition to the question-and-answer section, an overview looks at the psychology of money, sex, morality, and everyday living.
Author: James W. Pennebaker
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
Release Date: 2011-08-23
Genre: Language Arts & Disciplines
A surprising and entertaining explanation of how the words we use (even the ones we don't notice) reveal our personalities, emotions, and identities. We spend our lives communicating. In the last fifty years, we've zoomed through radically different forms of communication, from typewriters to tablet computers, text messages to tweets. We generate more and more words with each passing day. Hiding in that deluge of language are amazing insights into who we are, how we think, and what we feel. In The Secret Life of Pronouns, social psychologist and language expert James W. Pennebaker uses his groundbreaking research in computational linguistics-in essence, counting the frequency of words we use-to show that our language carries secrets about our feelings, our self-concept, and our social intelligence. Our most forgettable words, such as pronouns and prepositions, can be the most revealing: their patterns are as distinctive as fingerprints. Using innovative analytic techniques, Pennebaker X-rays everything from Craigslist advertisements to the Federalist Papers-or your own writing, in quizzes you can take yourself-to yield unexpected insights. Who would have predicted that the high school student who uses too many verbs in her college admissions essay is likely to make lower grades in college? Or that a world leader's use of pronouns could reliably presage whether he led his country into war? You'll learn why it's bad when politicians use "we" instead of "I," what Lady Gaga and William Butler Yeats have in common, and how Ebenezer Scrooge's syntax hints at his self-deception and repressed emotion. Barack Obama, Sylvia Plath, and King Lear are among the figures who make cameo appearances in this sprightly, surprising tour of what our words are saying-whether we mean them to or not.