the political brain the role of emotion in deciding the fate of the nation

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The Political Brain

Author : Drew Westen
ISBN :
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 59. 31 MB
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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…

Political Campaign Communication

Author : Judith S. Trent
ISBN : 9781442206731
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 63. 79 MB
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Now in its seventh edition, Political Campaign Communication provides a realistic understanding of the strategic and tactical communication practices utilized in contemporary political campaigns. It draws on a wealth of examples from local to national political campaigns and communication theory to illustrate principles and practices of campaigns such as functions, stages, communicative styles, public speaking, debates, interpersonal communication, political advertising, and the use of the internet and new media. Trent, Friedenberg, and Denton's classic text has been updated to reflect recent election campaigns, including the 2010 congressional elections and the initial stages of the 2012 presidential election. Many sections now focus on the most recent presidential elections, and the campaigns of Barack Obama and John McCain. In addition, the authors have examined the expanding role of the internet in political campaigns. Political Campaign Communication continues to be a classroom favorite-a thoroughly researched, insightful, and reader-friendly text.

A Magnificent Catastrophe

Author : Edward J. Larson
ISBN : 9780743293174
Genre : History
File Size : 85. 63 MB
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A vivid retelling of the presidential election campaign between John Adams and Thomas Jefferson describes the fierce rivalry that was called "America's Second Revolution" and reveals the pivotal roles played by Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr. By the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Evolution. Reprint. 35,000 first printing.

The Victory Lab

Author : Sasha Issenberg
ISBN : 9780307954817
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 47. 95 MB
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UPDATED FOR THE 2016 ELECTION The book Politico calls “Moneyball for politics” shows how cutting-edge social science and analytics are reshaping the modern political campaign. Renegade thinkers are crashing the gates of a venerable American institution, shoving aside its so-called wise men and replacing them with a radical new data-driven order. We’ve seen it in sports, and now in The Victory Lab, journalist Sasha Issenberg tells the hidden story of the analytical revolution upending the way political campaigns are run in the 21st century. The Victory Lab follows the academics and maverick operatives rocking the war room and re-engineering a high-stakes industry previously run on little more than gut instinct and outdated assumptions. Armed with research from behavioural psychology and randomized experiments that treat voters as unwitting guinea pigs, the smartest campaigns now believe they know who you will vote for even before you do. Issenberg tracks these fascinating techniques—which include cutting edge persuasion experiments, innovative ways to mobilize voters, heavily researched electioneering methods—and shows how our most important figures, such as Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, are putting them to use with surprising skill and alacrity. Provocative, clear-eyed and energetically reported, The Victory Lab offers iconoclastic insights into political marketing, human decision-making, and the increasing power of analytics.

Local Elections And The Politics Of Small Scale Democracy

Author : J. Eric Oliver
ISBN : 9781400842544
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 69. 90 MB
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Local government is the hidden leviathan of American politics: it accounts for nearly a tenth of gross domestic product, it collects nearly as much in taxes as the federal government, and its decisions have an enormous impact on Americans' daily lives. Yet political scientists have few explanations for how people vote in local elections, particularly in the smaller cities, towns, and suburbs where most Americans live. Drawing on a wide variety of data sources and case studies, this book offers the first comprehensive analysis of electoral politics in America's municipalities. Arguing that current explanations of voting behavior are ill suited for most local contests, Eric Oliver puts forward a new theory that highlights the crucial differences between local, state, and national democracies. Being small in size, limited in power, and largely unbiased in distributing their resources, local governments are "managerial democracies" with a distinct style of electoral politics. Instead of hinging on the partisanship, ideology, and group appeals that define national and state elections, local elections are based on the custodial performance of civic-oriented leaders and on their personal connections to voters with similarly deep community ties. Explaining not only the dynamics of local elections, Oliver's findings also upend many long-held assumptions about community power and local governance, including the importance of voter turnout and the possibilities for grassroots political change.

Words That Work

Author : Frank I. Luntz
ISBN : 1401302599
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 65. 22 MB
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A leading communications expert explains how the tactical use of words and phrases influences what we buy, who we vote for, and what we believe, in a volume that encompasses sections ranging from "The Ten Rules of Successful Communication" to "The 21 Words and Phrases for the 21st Century."

Self And Society

Author : Drew Westen
ISBN : 0521317703
Genre : Psychology
File Size : 37. 84 MB
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The relation between individual and collective processes is central to the social sciences, yet difficult to conceptualize because of the necessity of crossing disciplinary boundaries. The result is that researchers in different disciplines construct their own implicit, and often unsatisfactory, models of either individual or collective phenomena, which in turn influence their theoretical and empirical work. In this book, Drew Westen attempts to cross these boundaries, proposing an interdisciplinary approach to personality, to culture, and to the relation between the two. Part I of the book sets forth a model of personality that integrates psychodynamic analysis with an understanding of cognitively mediated conditioning and social learning. In Part II, Westen offers a view of culture that blends symbolic and materialist modes of discourse, examining the role of both ideals and 'material' needs in motivating symbolic as well as concrete social structural processes. In Part III, he combines these models of personality and culture through an examination of cultural evolution and stasis, identity and historical change, and the impact of technological development on personality. Throughout the book, Westen provides reviews of the state of the art in a variety of fields, including personality theory, moral development, ego development, and culture theory. He also addresses and recasts central issues in psychology, sociology, anthropology, and social theory, such as the relations between emotion and cognition; social learning and psychodynamics; ideals and material forces; and individual and collective action. His book will appeal to students and scholars in all the social sciences, as well as to any reader concerned with understanding the relation between individuals and the world in which they live.

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