Date of Award

2-2010

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program

Psychology

First Advisor

Linda R. Tropp

Second Advisor

Brian Lickel

Third Advisor

Aline Sayer

Subject Categories

Psychology | Social Psychology

Abstract

The current research investigates how the perceived emotional responses of a majority of Americans to 9/11 (i.e., collective anger and fear) affect individuals’ support for governmental policies, in particular, military intervention, anti-immigration policy, and restricting civil liberties. Study 1 found that perceived collective anger was associated with support for military intervention and anti-immigration policy, and that those effects of perceived collective anger on policy support were significantly driven by individuals’ own anger. Study 2 showed that experimentally manipulated collective anger (i.e., exposure to the majority’s anger relative to the minority’s anger) had marginal effects on support for anti-immigration policy and restricting civil liberties, and individuals’ own anger mediated the marginal effect of collective anger on support for restricting civil liberties. Participants exposed to either the majority’s or minority’s fear supported anti-immigration policy and restricting civil liberties as strongly as did those exposed to the majority’s anger. Implications and limitations of these findings were discussed.

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