Political information and emotions in ethnic conflict interventions Academic Article uri icon


  • PurposeThis study aims to explore the effects of political information and anger on the public's cognitive processing and foreign policy preferences concerning thirdparty interventions in ethnic conflict.Design/methodology/approachThe study employs an experimental design, wherein the authors manipulate policyspecific information by generating ad hoc political information related to ethnic conflict. The statistical methods of analysis are logistic regression and analysis of covariance.FindingsThe results demonstrate that both political information and anger have a significant impact on an individual's cognitive processing and policy preferences regarding ethnic conflict interventions. Specifically, political information increases one's proclivity to choose nonmilitary policy options, whereas anger instigates support for aggressive policies. Both factors result in faster decision making with lower amounts of information accessed. However, the interaction of political information and anger is not significant. The study also finds that policyspecific information rather than general political information influences the public's policy preferences.Originality/valueThis study confronts and advances the debate over whether political information is significant in influencing the public's foreign policy preferences and, if so, whether such an effect is the product of general or domainspecific information. It also addresses an understudied topic the emotive repercussions of ethnic conflicts among potential thirdparty interveners. In addition, it tackles the argument over whether political information immunizes people against (or sensitizes them to) the effects of anger on their cognitive processing and foreign policy preferences. The study also introduces a novel approach for examining political information through an experimental manipulation of policyspecific information.

published proceedings

  • International Journal of Conflict Management

author list (cited authors)

  • Sirin, C. V., Villalobos, J. D., & Geva, N.

citation count

  • 0

complete list of authors

  • Sirin, Cigdem V||Villalobos, José D||Geva, Nehemia

publication date

  • February 2011