Political anger closes minds

Anger is a great political motivator, Lee Drutman says at Miller-McCune, but it has its downsides, not least of which is that it makes people impervious to other points of view.

Researchers who study politics and emotion say two major factors lead people to become angry over adverse circumstances, rather than fearful or anxious. One, obviously, is having someone or something to blame. The other, perhaps less so, is having a sense of control.

Angry people are more likely to take action–often aggressive and punitive, researchers say. But they are less likely to consider alternatives to their own mindset. Anxious people, on the other hand, are less likely to get involved, but more open to new information and to compromise.