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Title:It's not what you say, but how you say it: anger, audio, and the U.S. House of Representatives
Author(s):Dietrich, Bryce
Director of Research:Mondak, Jeffery J.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Mondak, Jeffery J.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Canache, Damarys J.; Kuklinski, James H.; Sulkin, Tracy E.; Tam Cho, Wendy K.
Department / Program:Political Science
Discipline:Political Science
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Political Participation
Abstract:Members of Congress have been consistently asked to “tone down the rhetoric.” Implicit in these calls is the assumption that congressional anger has a negative effect on political participation. To test this claim, this dissertation considers whether anger increases or decreases voter turnout in the 111th and 112th U.S. House of Representatives. Although there are a number of ways to measure anger, this study employs a unique data set of over 7,000 floor speeches, in which the text and audio are used in order to quantify the degree to which a member of Congress is angry. Ultimately, I find not only can text and audio data be used for the purpose of emotional classification, but when this is done, anger is found to be an important predictor of voter turnout and the margin of victory. In terms of the former, districts vote more when their representatives are exceptionally angry, whereas the inverse is true when it comes to the vote margin. Collectively, this suggests that anger may cause voters to turn out more on Election Day, but generally they do so in order to vote against anger.
Issue Date:2014-09-16
Rights Information:Copyright 2014 by Bryce J. Dietrich
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-09-16
Date Deposited:2014-08

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