The Physiology of Political Participation

Michael W. Gruszczynski, Amanda Balzer, Carly M. Jacobs, Kevin B. Smith, John R Hibbing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Political involvement varies markedly across people. Traditional explanations for this variation tend to rely on demographic variables and self-reported, overtly political concepts. In this article, we expand the range of possible explanatory variables by hypothesizing that a correlation exists between political involvement and physiological predispositions. We measure physiology by computing the degree to which electrodermal activity changes on average when a participant sequentially views a full range of differentially valenced stimuli. Our findings indicate that individuals with higher electrodermal responsiveness are also more likely to participate actively in politics. This relationship holds even after the effects of traditional demographic variables are taken into account, suggesting that physiological responsiveness independently contributes to a fuller understanding of the underlying sources of variation in political involvement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)135-152
Number of pages18
JournalPolitical Behavior
Volume35
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013

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physiology
political participation
stimulus
politics

Keywords

  • Electrodermal activity
  • Emotion
  • Physiology
  • Political participation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science

Cite this

Gruszczynski, M. W., Balzer, A., Jacobs, C. M., Smith, K. B., & Hibbing, J. R. (2013). The Physiology of Political Participation. Political Behavior, 35(1), 135-152. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11109-012-9197-x

The Physiology of Political Participation. / Gruszczynski, Michael W.; Balzer, Amanda; Jacobs, Carly M.; Smith, Kevin B.; Hibbing, John R.

In: Political Behavior, Vol. 35, No. 1, 01.01.2013, p. 135-152.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Gruszczynski, MW, Balzer, A, Jacobs, CM, Smith, KB & Hibbing, JR 2013, 'The Physiology of Political Participation', Political Behavior, vol. 35, no. 1, pp. 135-152. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11109-012-9197-x
Gruszczynski MW, Balzer A, Jacobs CM, Smith KB, Hibbing JR. The Physiology of Political Participation. Political Behavior. 2013 Jan 1;35(1):135-152. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11109-012-9197-x
Gruszczynski, Michael W. ; Balzer, Amanda ; Jacobs, Carly M. ; Smith, Kevin B. ; Hibbing, John R. / The Physiology of Political Participation. In: Political Behavior. 2013 ; Vol. 35, No. 1. pp. 135-152.
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