In This Article Expand or collapse the "in this article" section Emotion and Racial Attitudes in Contemporary American Politics

  • Introduction
  • Journals
  • Early Studies on Emotion and Racial Attitudes
  • Emotional Substrates of Racial and Ethnic Prejudice
  • Emotion and Racial and Immigration Policy Opinions
  • Conditional Effects of Emotion
  • Emotion and Whites’ Positive Racial Attitudes
  • Emotion and Blacks’ Racial Attitudes

Political Science Emotion and Racial Attitudes in Contemporary American Politics
Antoine Banks
  • LAST REVIEWED: 28 September 2016
  • LAST MODIFIED: 28 September 2016
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199756223-0191


The debate on race in American politics—past and present—has stimulated strong emotions. Scholars have recently begun to study the influence discrete emotions have on Americans’ attitudes and opinions about race. Understanding the effect emotions have on racial attitudes is of practical importance. For example, studies have demonstrated that the emotional rhetoric in American politics can increase hostility toward racial and ethnic minorities. The research on emotion and racial attitudes in American politics is interdisciplinary and includes political scientists, psychologists, sociologists, communication scholars, and others.


Research journals from a variety of disciplines have published work on the relationship between emotions and attitudes about race. These journals are in disciplines such as political science and psychology. Examples of these journals include the American Journal of Political Science, Public Opinion Quarterly, Political Psychology, Political Behavior, and Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. These journals publish on a variety of topics, but all have published work on emotions and race.

  • American Journal of Political Science. 1957–.

    The Midwest Political Science Association sponsors the journal. It publishes research on the link between emotion and racial and immigration policy opinions.

  • Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 1965–.

    This is a journal of the American Psychological Association. It has published work on emotions and out-group attitudes.

  • Political Behavior. 1979–.

    The journal is sponsored by the Elections, Public Opinion, and Voting Behavior section of the American Political Science Association. It publishes work on the ability of emotions to activate racial and ethnic attitudes and the consequences this effect has for public policy.

  • Political Psychology.

    This is the journal of the International Society of Political Psychology. It publishes a variety of work on emotion and attitudes toward racial and ethnic minorities.

  • Public Opinion Quarterly. 1937–.

    This is the journal of the American Association for Public Opinion Research. It has published work on media effects, race, and public opinion.

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