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Anger, Anxiety and Corruption Perceptions: Evidence from France

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Sarah Birch, Nicholas J. Allen, Katja Sarmiento-Mirwaldt

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)893-911
Issue number4
Early online date9 Jun 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017


King's Authors


This paper assesses the roles of anxiety and anger in shaping people’s perceptions of politicians’ integrity. Drawing on recent work on the role of affect in shaping political judgment, the paper develops a theoretical model of the anticipated role of anger and anxiety in structuring reactions to allegations of political misconduct. The model is tested on a unique dataset that includes results of an experiment fielded as part of a survey carried out in January 2013 among a representative sample of the French adult population. The analysis finds that those in whom politically dubious actions generate anxiety are more sensitive to contextual details than other respondents, though the role of anger in modulating ethical judgments is less clear-cut, dampening attention to information about negatively-assessed behavior but enhancing attention to information about behavior that is assessed more positively.

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