The Public’s Anger: White Racial Attitudes and Opinions Toward Health Care Reform

The Public’s Anger: White Racial Attitudes and Opinions Toward Health Care Reform Pundits and politicians debated whether race was implicated in the rancorous public forums and demonstrations over health care reform. Research suggests that for many white Americans, racial predispositions play a greater role in their opinions on health care than non-racial predispositions. Building on this work, I examine the extent to which anger uniquely activates white racial attitudes and increases their effect on preferences for health care reform. My theory suggests this effect occurs because anger and thoughts about race are tightly linked in memory. Using a nationally representative experiment over two waves, I induced several emotions to elicit anger, fear, enthusiasm, or relaxation. The results show that anger uniquely pushes racial conservatives to be more opposing of health care reform while it triggers more support among racial liberals. On the other hand, anger does not enhance the effect of race-neutral principles on health care reform. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Political Behavior Springer Journals

The Public’s Anger: White Racial Attitudes and Opinions Toward Health Care Reform

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2013 by Springer Science+Business Media New York
Subject
Social Sciences, general; Political Science, general; Sociology, general
ISSN
0190-9320
eISSN
1573-6687
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11109-013-9251-3
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Pundits and politicians debated whether race was implicated in the rancorous public forums and demonstrations over health care reform. Research suggests that for many white Americans, racial predispositions play a greater role in their opinions on health care than non-racial predispositions. Building on this work, I examine the extent to which anger uniquely activates white racial attitudes and increases their effect on preferences for health care reform. My theory suggests this effect occurs because anger and thoughts about race are tightly linked in memory. Using a nationally representative experiment over two waves, I induced several emotions to elicit anger, fear, enthusiasm, or relaxation. The results show that anger uniquely pushes racial conservatives to be more opposing of health care reform while it triggers more support among racial liberals. On the other hand, anger does not enhance the effect of race-neutral principles on health care reform.

Journal

Political BehaviorSpringer Journals

Published: Aug 9, 2013

References

  • Emotional substrates of white racial attitudes
    Banks, AJ; Valentino, NA

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